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  • » 05/26/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS

    Syrian military kills 88 in Houla, scores of wounded, in what activists call a massacre



    Activists slam violence by Syrian government forces. Video of dead children are posted online, but independent verification is impossible. Thousands of people protested yesterday after Friday prayers. For UN's Ban Ki-moon, the situation is "extremely serious".

    Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) - At least 88 people, including many children, have been killed in Syria's restive Homs province as government forces attacked rebel positions. Activists call the outcome of the attack a massacre. If confirmed, it would be one of the worst losses of life since a truce was agreed to in April. In a letter to the Security Council, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the opposition controlled "significant parts of some cities." The situation, he added, was "extremely serious," urging states not to arm either side in the conflict.

    In addition to the violence in Houla (Homs), Friday saw at least 20 people killed elsewhere in the country, local sources reported, when tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets after prayers. In Houla itself, activists said some of those who died were butchered by government militia, others killed in shelling or summary executions. Pictures and videos have been posted online showing the slaughtered children.

    The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said at least 88 people had died, "most of them women and children". For the Syrian National Council, the UN Security Council must act urgently to stop the carnage. However, neither the reports nor the videos of the violence could be independently verified.

    Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon talked about recent attacks in a letter to the Security Council, especially earlier this month, when a bombing in Damascus left 55 dead.

    For him, judging from the sophistication of the attacks, "established terrorist groups" could have been behind some of the recent bomb blasts in Syria.

    Overall, UN efforts to end the conflict had seen only "small progress", he noted, and the «situation in Syria remains extremely serious".

     

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    See also

    12/03/2016 14:12:00 SYRIA – UNITED NATIONS
    Syrian opposition to attend peace talks, some glimmers of hope for UN

    The second round of UN-sponsored indirect talks between the government and opposition is set to begin on Monday in Geneva. The main opposition group confirmed its participation without preconditions “to stop the spilling of Syrian blood and find a political solution". Humanitarian agencies and UN officials show cautious optimism.



    31/05/2012 SYRIA
    Washington and Moscow clash over Syria's looming civil war
    Russia and China oppose new sanctions against Syrian regime. For US secretary of State, Russia is contributing to a disastrous civil war. Ban Ki-Moon describes Houla massacre as turning point for Assad regime. The latter releases 500 political prisoners arrested in 14 months of unrest.

    27/09/2013 SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS
    As jihadist rebels burn two Catholic churches in ar-Raqqah, Assad's enemies openly split
    Fundamentalists target the Greek Catholic Church of the Annunciation and the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs, destroying the cross on the bell tower of one of them and raising the Islamist flag, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights laments. As divisions grow within the anti-Assad opposition, fundamentalist groups reject the authority of the Syrian National Council, trying instead to impose Sharia. The Security Council is ready to adopt a resolution on the destruction of Assad's chemical weapons with the support of Russia and the United States.

    30/01/2016 16:19:00 SYRIA – UNITED NATIONS
    Opposition group to join Geneva talks on Syria conflict

    The High Negotiations Committee announces it will send 30-35 people to Geneva to join UN, US and Syrian representatives to negotiate an end to a conflict that has claimed 260,000 lives since 2011. UN Security Council resolution approved last month calls for an immediate cease-fire, a transitional government in six months and elections within 18.



    29/05/2012 SYRIA - UN
    Damascus, Annan meets Assad to save the peace plan
    Face to face talks overshadowed by Houla "massacre". The diplomat has called the slaughter "repulsive" and called for an end to the violence. The UN Security Council has condemned Damascus for the use of heavy weapons. But the Syrian government points the finger at rebels and fighters. The Holy See's appeal to the parties involved and the entire international community to "end to all forms of violence".



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