Wed, May 30, 2012
World > Middle East > 2012 Syrian Situation

Houla massacre in Syria needs thorough probe: Russian diplomat

2012-05-27 20:56:03 GMT2012-05-28 04:56:03(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The Houla massacre in Syria deserves "strong condemnation" and the cause of the tragedy should be thoroughly investigated, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Sunday.

The "tragic events" which led to "death of dozens of people" in Syria deserves condemnation, Gatilov wrote in his Twitter microblog, adding that "we must thoroughly examine their causes."

"There is information that the wounds were not caused by shelling. Let us wait for the objective assessment of the UN mission," Gatilov tweeted.

The attack on Houla, a group of villages northwest of the central city of Homs, claimed the lives of more than 90 people, including at least 32 children under the age of 10.

The Syrian government denied Sunday the government troops' involvement in the deadly carnage and blamed the massacre on a " terrorist group" affiliated with al-Qaida, adding that the " terrorist" escalation came ahead of an imminent meeting of the UN Security Council and the joint special envoy of the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan to Syria.

A Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said during a press conference that the government has formed a military judicial committee to conduct investigations and the results would be made public within three days.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Annan on Saturday strongly condemned the bloodbath in Houla.

The ongoing violence continued unabated despite the deployment of more than 250 UN observers, who began to arrive in Syria last month to monitor the fragile cease-fire.

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