Reports of alleged massacre in Hama province, Again
United nation observers barred from questioned site in Syria
United Nations observers have been prevented access to an alleged scene
of a massacre in Hama province in Syria. In a statement, Norwegian
General Robert Mood says that observers were stopped and turned back by
the Syrian army.
Syria's government denies any role in the killings. 'What a few media have reported on what happened in al-Qubayr, in the Hama region, is completely false,' the government said on official television.
The UN mission had received reports of a mass killing in al-Qubayr, a small village. Opposition activists said that pro-government armed groups backed by security forces had killed scores of people there.
The Syria's Local Co-ordination Committees, an activist network, in addition to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that more than 86 people had been killed.
Syria's government denies any role in the killings. "What a few media have reported on what happened in al-Qubayr, in the Hama region, is completely false," the government said on official television.
"A terrorist group committed a heinous crime in the Hama region which claimed nine victims. The reports by the media are contributing to spilling the blood of Syrians," the statement said.
An activist in Hama, has told reporters with Al Jazeera that the attack bore similarities to last month's massacre in Houla, and said the government was seeking to create an "atmosphere of terror and intimidation," saying that the Syrian army had prepared the way by shelling the area before pro-government gangs descended on the village.
"Most of victims were burnt in their houses, many of them were slaughtered by knives in a very ugly way," he said, saying that women and children were among the dead.
In regards to the United Nations, he said that "Unfortunately they do nothing to protect us, they just come the next day after the massacres to film the corpses and see how we bury our victims . They are just watching us die," he said.
News of the alleged massacre prompted the opposition Syrian National Council to issue a statement calling on fighters aligned with the anti-government Free Syrian Army to "escalate battlefield action" to ease pressure on civilians "under siege, shelling and assaults in the provinces of Hama, Latakia and Homs."
Western and Arab nations have met in Istanbul in Turkey, to discuss the crisis in Syria.
The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had told the group that transition in the country should include a "full transfer of power" from President Bashar al-Assad, the creation of a fully representative interim government and free and fair elections.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Massacre, Syria, United Nations, Hama province
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