UN monitors shot at trying to reach site of 'massacre' in Syria

 

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told a General Assembly session today that monitors trying to access the site of an alleged massacre in Syria were shot at by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking at the start of a special UN General Assembly session he condemned the alleged massacre as "an unspeakable barbarity" and called again on Assad to implement international mediator Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan.

"Today's news reports of another massacre ... are shocking and sickening," he told the 193-nation assembly. "A village apparently surrounded by Syrian forces. The bodies of innocent civilians lying where they were, shot. Some allegedly burned or slashed with knives."

"We condemn this unspeakable barbarity and renew our determination to bring those responsible to account," he said.

Major General Robert Mood had earlier said observers from the mission were told by residents in the area that they would be at risk if they entered Mazraat al-Qubair in central Hama province.

Syrian government forces were today accused by opposition groups of carrying out the massacre in the central Hama province.

The death toll and circumstances of the killings are as yet unknown.

Reports of the massacre, including images, have spread through social networking sites Twitter and Facebook - but are not yet verified.

The Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights claim the killings took place overnight in Mazraat al-Qubair - they are alleging that 'dozens' of people were killed.

Opposition groups in Syria are claiming that pro-government forces have killed 86 people in Qubair and Maarzaf in Hama province, many of them women and children.

They are also claiming the pro-government militia group Shabiha first shelled the farming area and then ten people went in and killed the residents there.

The opposition groups claim some of those killed were stabbed to death while other bodies have been burned.

The Syrian government denied the reports calling them 'absolutely baseless'.

The violence comes after the horrific massacre in late May in a cluster of villages in central Homs province, which left more than 100 dead, including many children and women gunned down in their homes.

Gen Mood of the UN said today the mission "is concerned about the restriction imposed on its movement as it will impede our ability to monitor, observe and report".

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the government in Syria  for "simply unconscionable" violence. Speaking today she said,

"The regime-sponsored violence that we witnessed again in Hama yesterday is simply unconscionable. Assad has doubled down on his brutality and duplicity, and Syria will not, cannot, be peaceful, stable or certainly democratic until Assad goes."

David Cameron today condemned the alleged massacre as “brutal and sickening”.

Speaking during a visit to Norway, he called for "concerted action" from the international community.

Mr Cameron said: “If these reports are true, it is yet another absolutely brutal and sickening attack.

“Frankly, the international community has got to condemn absolutely this regime and President Assad for what he is doing.

“I think that lots of different countries in the world - countries that sit around the UN Security Council table - have got to sit down today and discuss this issue.

“None of them should be able to hide from the fact that, if this is true, it will be once again President Assad demonstrating that his regime is completely illegitimate and cannot stand.

“We need to do much more to isolate Syria, to isolate the regime, to put the pressure on and to demonstrate that the whole world wants to see a political transition from this illegitimate regime and to actually see one that can take care of its people.

“It really is appalling, what is happening in that country, and I want to see concerted action from the international community.”

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
Wigan Athletic’s back-of-the shirt sponsor Premier Range has pulled out due to Malky Mackay’s arrival
Football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines