Ban, UNSC condemn Syria violence

UN Secretary-General calls for immediate end to violence; UNSC sends condolences to car bomb attack victims' families.

Damaged Syrian cars blast 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Sana/Handout )
Damaged Syrian cars blast 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Sana/Handout )
WASHINGTON - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "grave concern" over the escalating violence in Syria and the UN Security Council condemned the Damascus suicide car bombings as "terrorist attacks".
Ban called for an immediate end to the bloodshed and urged the Syrian government to implement a peace plan proposed by the Arab League, according to a statement late Friday.
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"The Secretary-General urges the need for a credible, inclusive and legitimate Syrian-led process of comprehensive political change that will address the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people," the statement read.
In a separate statement the Security Council strongly condemned the attacks, and sent its condolences to the families of the victims and to the Syrian people.
Friday's car bomb attacks in the Syrian capital killed 44 people and was a dramatic escalation of violence after nine months of mostly peaceful rallies.
President Bashar Assad has used tanks and troops in trying to crush the protests.
The UN Security Council strongly condemned the "terrorist attacks".
"Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed," its statement said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.
European and US officials want the Security Council to impose an arms embargo and other sanctions on Syria over the crackdown, which UN officials say has killed 5,000 people.
Russia and China, which have closer relations with Syria, oppose sanctions.
Russia's UN delegation on Friday submitted a revised draft resolution on Syria to the UN Security Council, but Germany said it did not go far enough in addressing Western concerns about the increasing violence there. staff contributed to this report
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