Members of Syrian leader's sect meet in Cairo

March 23, 2013
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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, mourners carry the body of Sheik Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti, an 84-year-old pro-government cleric during his funeral in the eighth century Omayyad Mosque, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, March 23, 2013. Al-Buti, his grandson and scores of others were killed Thursday, March 21, 2013 when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside a mosque where al-Buti was giving a religious lesson. His assassination was a blow to Assad, who vowed Friday to avenge his death. (AP Photo/SANA)

BEIRUT (AP) — Members of Syrian President Bashar Assad's own minority sect who are opposed to his regime are meeting in Cairo amid concerns about their fate in a post-Assad Syria.

Organizers say the two-day meeting, which began Saturday, is the first of its kind for opposition members of the Syrian community. Most have either rallied behind Assad or stayed quietly on the sidelines of the 2-year-old civil war.

Rebels fighting to topple Assad are mostly from the country's majority Sunni sect. Assad is Alawite, a Shiite offshoot of Islam.

The meeting of about 50 Alawites reflects fear within the tiny sect that they would fall victim to revenge killings and assassinations should Assad's regime fall.

They plan on seeking assurances from opposition chief Mouaz al-Khatib who may attend the meeting on Sunday.