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China Condemns Civilian Deaths in Syria

  • Shannon Sant

The bodies of people purportedly killed by Syrian government security forces are laid out in Houla near Homs, May 26, 2012.

The bodies of people purportedly killed by Syrian government security forces are laid out in Houla near Homs, May 26, 2012.

BEIJING - On Monday China denounced last week's killing of at least 108 civilians in Syria, but avoided directly blaming the Syrian government for the massacre. China is calling all parties to support mediation efforts this week in Syria.

The Chinese government condemned the attack on the Syrian town of Houla Friday and Saturday, but side-stepped blaming the Assad government for the incident, saying that the perpetrators of the massacre must be found.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China is shocked by the massacre and strongly condemns the cruel killings of women and children as well as other innocent civilians.

On Sunday, the 15-member U.N. Security Council issued a statement condemning the Syrian government's role in the attack on Houla, a Sunni community 24 kilometers northwest of Homs. The statement did not blame the Syrian government directly for all of the killings, but criticized Syria's use of heavy weapons in civilian areas.

China's foreign ministry demanded an investigation to find who was responsible for the civilian deaths, and again called on Syria to implement a cease fire.

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to begin negotiating Monday for government implementation of a six point peace plan. China has said it supports Mr. Annan’s role as a mediator with the Syrian government.

On Monday spokesman Liu Weimin called Mr. Annan’s six point peace plan important and said all parties have great expectations of the role of UN monitors in Syria.

Opposition groups in Syria have called on the international community to protect Syrian civilians.

The Syrian government has denied responsibility and blames terrorist groups for the massacre.

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