UN chief alarmed by escalating violence in Syria

December 17, 2012 07:06

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm on Sunday at the worsening violence in Syria, including the reported mass killing of Alawites and alleged firing of long-range missiles on Syrian territory, Ban's spokesman said.

"The Secretary-General is alarmed by the continued dramatic escalation of violence in Syria over the past several days, and the grave danger facing civilians in areas under fire," Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said in a statement.

"There have been extremely worrisome reports earlier this week of a mass killing of civilians in the village of Aqrab near Hama, as well as alleged firing of long-range missiles in some areas of the country," he said.

In the Aqrab incident, up to 200 members of President Bashar Assad's Alawite minority were injured or killed in an attack on their village in central Syria on Tuesday, opposition activists said. The death toll was still not known.

There have also been reports of the Syrian government using Scud missiles. NATO's US commander said on Friday the alliance was deploying the Patriot anti-missile system along Syria's northern frontier because Assad's forces had fired Scud missiles that landed near Turkish territory.

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