UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was shocked by reports of a massacre in a town close to Syria's capital and condemned it as "an appalling and brutal crime" that should be independently investigated immediately, his spokesman said on Monday.
Syrian opposition activists accused President Bashar Assad's army on Sunday of massacring hundreds of people in the town of Daraya, which government forces recaptured from rebels.
"The secretary-general is certainly shocked by those reports and he strongly condemns this appalling and brutal crime," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said. "This needs to be investigated immediately, in an independent and impartial fashion.
"It underscores ... wherever there are atrocities, whoever is responsible needs to be held accountable and it underscores again the lack of protection for civilians that there is in Syria," he said.
He said the UN Office for the Commissioner for Human Rights was trying to gather information on the Daraya incident.