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JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS \
Syrian bombardment of Hama kills 41
Bodies anti-gov't protesters say were killed by gov't 370.
AMMAN - The Syrian army's bombardment of the city of Hama has killed at least 41 people in the past 24 hours, an opposition group in the city said on Monday.Syrian tanks and infantry fighting vehicles opened fire on several neighborhoods of Hama on Sunday after a series of attacks by rebel Free Syrian Army fighters on roadblocks and other positions manned by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, opposition sources said.The dead included five women and eight children, the Hama Revolution leadership Council said in a statement.The report could not be independently verified.Over the weekend, multiple voices within the international community had condemned Saturday the killing of over 92 people and the wounding of hundreds more in the
village of El-Houleh, near Homs.Activists said there was an
artillery barrage by government forces, in the worst violence since the
start of a UN peace plan to slow the flow of blood in Syria's uprising.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN-Arab League special envoy to
Syria Kofi Annan, condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms.""This
appalling and brutal crime involving indiscriminate and
disproportionate use of force is a flagrant violation of international
law and of the commitments of the Syrian government," the
UN secretary general and special envoy said in a joint statement.US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also condemned the attack."Those
who perpetrated this atrocity must be identified and held to account,"
she said in a statement. "And the United States will work with the
international community to intensify our pressure on Assad and his
cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end."The bloodied bodies
of children, some with their skulls split open, were shown in footage
posted to YouTube purporting to show the victims of the shelling in the
central town of Houla on Friday. The sound of wailing filled the room.The
carnage underlined just how far Syria is from any negotiated path out
of the 14-month-old revolt against Assad."This
morning UN military and civilian observers went to Houla and counted
more than 32 children under the age of 10 and over 60 adults killed,"
the head of UN team monitoring the ceasefire - which has yet to take
hold - said."The observers confirmed from examination of
ordinances the use of artillery tank shells," Major General Robert Mood
said in a statement, without elaborating. "Whoever started, whoever
responded and whoever carried out this deplorable act of violence should
be held responsible."Activists
said Assad's forces shelled the town of Houla on Friday evening after
security forces killed a protester and following skirmishes between
troops and fighters from the Sunni Muslim-led insurgency fighting
Syria's rulers, who belong to the minority Alawite sect.French
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the violence as a "massacre",
and said he wanted to arrange a meeting in Paris of the Friends of
Syria, a group that brings together Western and Arab countries keen to
remove Assad.In a statement, Arab
League head Nabil Elaraby called the killing in Houla a "horrific
crime", urging the UN Security Council - where Russia and China have
protected Syria - to "stop the escalation of killing and violence by
armed gangs and government military forces."
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