UN Monitors Shot At Trying to Probe Syria Massacre

Clinton, Cameron condemn killings
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2012 7:45 AM CDT
Updated Jun 7, 2012 10:04 AM CDT
Syria Blocks UN Monitors From Massacre Scene
In this file photo, a syrian woman is seen on the balcony of a house that has been destroyed during a military operation by the Syrian pro-Assad army in April 2012, in the town of Taftanaz.   (AP Photo)

UN monitors came under small arms fire today while trying to reach the site of Syria's latest alleged massacre, Ban Ki-moon told the UN General Assembly today. Ban said he'd heard the news only "a few minutes ago," according to CNN, and denounced Bashar al-Assad as having "lost all legitimacy." It's unclear who fired the shots. Earlier, Gen. Robert Mood revealed in a statement that monitors "are being stopped at Syrian army checkpoints, and in some cases turned back," while other patrols "are being stopped by civilians." Opposition leaders say that Syrian forces killed 78 people in the Hama village of Qubair, including 40 women and children. There have also been reports of killings in the town of Heffe in Latakia province, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The news hits just ahead of a Kofi Annan UN briefing, and international condemnation is starting to roll in. "We're disgusted by what we see happening," said Hillary Clinton, according to the AP. David Cameron said that, if true, the report would be evidence that Assad's regime is "completely illegitimate." Tim Geithner, meanwhile, called for the world to apply "maximum financial pressure" to the regime, the LA Times reports. That's certainly more likely than military action; China and Russia today reiterated their opposition to that. (Read more Syria stories.)

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