10,000 killed in Syria since uprising: UN
Observers Confirm Houla Massacre
Damascus, May 26: UN observers have counted at least 90 bodies, including 32 children, after a Syrian government attack on a town.
UN mission head Maj-Gen Robert Mood told the BBC the killing in Houla was "indiscriminate and unforgivable".
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he would seek a strong international response to the "appalling crime" - France and the Arab League have also condemned the massacre.
This is one of the bloodiest attacks since a nominal truce began in April.
France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the Arab League also condemned the assault.
Fabius said he was making immediate arrangements for a Paris meeting of the Friends of Syria group, which includes Western and Arab nations, but not Russia or China, who have blocked previous attempts to introduce UN sanctions.
Fighting in Syria has continued despite the deployment of some 250 UN observers monitoring a cease-fire brokered by UN envoy Kofi Annan - a ceasefire which the BBC's Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says is now "pretty fictional".
The UN says at least 10,000 have been killed since an uprising began in March 2011 against President Bashar al-Assad's rule
The "massacre" video which has emerged from Houla bears the sound of a man screaming:
"These are all children! Watch, you dogs, you Arabs, you animals - look at these children, watch, just watch!"
On a bedroom floor dozens of little children lie dead, their arms and legs strewn over one another. Many of their eyes are still open, bearing a look of shock and fright. They are all covered with blood and obviously suffered terrible deaths.
A girl, who is perhaps seven years old, wearing a headscarf and pink diamonte belt, lies face to face in death with a much younger boy.
Another little boy in a yellow jumper lies with his arms stretched out, almost cradling the head of the girl next to him. Blood covers both their faces and soaks their hair.
People off camera are shouting: "Oh God, oh God, oh God."
A team of UN observers visited Houla on Saturday and afterwards Maj-Gen Mood said they could confirm "the use of small arms machine gun, artillery and tanks."
An activist in Houla told the Associated Press that troops began the assault on Houla after an anti-regime demonstration following prayers on Friday.
The assault began with artillery shelling which killed 12, he said - but scores more were butchered when pro-regime thugs known as "shabiha" then stormed the area.
The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) said more than 110 people died. The SNC's Ausama Monajed told the BBC the regime was selecting vulnerable towns to "teach the entire country a lesson".
"It is beyond humanity what we have seen," he said. Activists have called a day of mourning.
Horrific video footage has emerged of dozens of dead children, covered in blood, their arms and legs strewn over one another. It is unverified, but our correspondent says such images would be difficult to fake.
In one instance, six members of a family were killed when their house was shelled, the Observatory said.
International media cannot report freely in Syria and it is impossible to verify reports of violence.
Meanwhile, in a letter to the Security Council, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the Syrian opposition controlled "significant parts of some cities".
He said that "established terrorist groups" could have been behind some of the recent bomb blasts in Syria judging from the sophistication of the attacks.
He said the situation remained "extremely serious" and urged states not to arm either side in the conflict.
Earlier this month, a bombing in Damascus left 55 dead in an attack which the government blamed on al-Qaeda. The attack came amid mounting fears that the terrorist group was taking advantage of the conflict to gain a foothold.
On Thursday, a UN-mandated panel said Syrian security forces were to blame for most abuses in the conflict, which has continued despite the presence of the UN observers. Courtesy: BBC
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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Observers Confirm Houla Massacre
Damascus, May 26: UN observers have counted at least 90 bodies, including 32 children, after a Syrian government attack on a town. UN mission head Maj-Gen Robert Mood told the BBC the killing in Houla More