Arab League chief demands probe into Syria `crime
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 22:15
Cairo: Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Tuesday called for an international probe into "crimes" committed against civilians in Syria, particularly in the flashpoint provinces of Homs and Idlib.

"Media reports about the horrible pictures concerning crimes committed against innocent civilians in Homs and Idlib and other parts of Syria can be described as crimes against humanity," Arabi said in a statement.

"There must be an international, independent probe to reveal the truth about what is happening and identify those responsible for these crimes and refer them to justice," he added.

Arabi stressed that no one "can remain silent about this, from a humanitarian and ethical" point of view.

He also urged the Syrian government "to cooperate" with any international probe and "to punish" the perpetrators.

On Monday, the Syrian opposition denounced the "massacre" of 47 women and children in the flashpoint central city of Homs and activists posted videos online that showed graphic images of charred bodies and children with mutilated and bloodied faces.

Syrian state television also aired gruesome footage showing homes with white walls splattered with blood, bodies of women and children piled on top of each other, and several men, with bullet wounds to the head, lying facing down in a disused building, their hands tied behind their backs.

The grisly murders in Syria's third-largest city Homs came less than two weeks after regime troops stormed its rebellious Baba Amr neighbourhood, following a month-long bombardment in which activists say 700 people were killed.

There have been also mounting reports of casualties in the northwestern province of Idlib where the Syrian army has since March 9 carried out an offensive in the mountainous region near the Turkish border.

Monitors say more than 8,500 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the Syrian regime year-long crackdown on dissent while the United Nations has revised its estimated death toll to more than 8,000.


First Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 22:15

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