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Al-Lataminah (Arabic: اللطامنة, also spelled Latamneh or Latamnah) is a village in northern Syria, administratively part of the Hama Governorate, located 39 kilometers northwest of Hama. Nearby localities include Karnaz to the northwest, Kafr Zita to the north, Murik to the northeast, Suran to the east, Taybat al-Imam to the southeast, Halfaya and Mahardah to the south, Shaizar and Kafr Hud to the southwest and Hayalin and al-Suqaylabiyah to the west. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), al-Lataminah had a population of 16,267 in the 2004 census, making it the second largest locality in the nahiyah of Kafr Zita. Its inhabitants are predominantly Sunni Muslims.
Al-Lataminah and its vicinity contain several caves, many of which had been used as homes for the village's residents. Today, the use of modern housing has prevailed, but a few families continue to live in the caves.
Al-Lataminah was inhabited during the Stone Age and excavations by teams from the Arab world, the United States, France and the Netherlands have been held at the site. One such excavation was held in 1965 and several artifacts were uncovered.
The Arab geographer al-Yaqubi mentions a village named al-Atmim as being part of Jund Hims ("Military District of Hims") in the 9th-century. This village corresponds with the artificial mound of Tell Latmin, near al-Lataminah. The Crusaders captured it in the early 11th-century. However, following the decisive victory of a Muslim alliance at the Battle of Harran in May 1104, al-Lataminah was restored to Muslim control, falling to the kingdom of Ridwan of Aleppo. The Crusader garrison in the village fled back to the Principality of Antioch, which experienced a severe territorial loss in the interior region of northwestern Syria in the aftermath of the battle. The Crusader forces of the Principality recaptured the village when Ridwan's forces were defeated in the Battle of Tell Aghdi in April 1105. In the 1220s, during Ayyubid rule, the Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi noted that al-Lataminah (Latmin) was "a district with a fortress in it," belonging to Hims Province.
When Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt visited the region in the early 19th-century, during Ottoman rule, al-Lataminah was described as the "principal village" of Sanjak Hama. During this period the village was part of the Sanjak (District) of Hama and in late 1829, it consisted of 84 faddan, larger than any other village in the district except for Taldou. It paid 8,250 qirsh in taxes, the highest rate of the revenue-producing (hasil) villages in the district. In 1838, it had a predominantly Sunni Muslim population. Towards the end of Egyptian Khedivate rule (1832-1841), in 1840, al-Lataminah was a large village that paid a moderate tax rate of 700 qirsh, as result of a tax decrease for rural villages at the expense of urban towns.
Ongoing Syrian civil war
The Syrian state media reported that on 9 March 2012, al-Lataminah's mayor was kidnapped from his home by anti-government fighters. His car had been stolen earlier on 30 September 2011. On 7 April 2012 secret United Nations monitors reported that dozens of residents were killed when the village was shelled by government forces, days before a truce was to be established. The fatality count ranged from 24 to 27 and activists reported that the shelling was part of an attempt by security forces to raid the town after two days of clashes with defectors from the Syrian Army.
In September Al Jazeera English classified al-Lataminah as a "rebel village". A girl was reportedly killed and several more people were injured as a result of shelling by government forces on 12 September. In a mid-December rebel offensive against government-held positions in the Hama Governorate, al-Lataminah was captured by opposition forces along with a string of several other villages.
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