News

Syrian Groups: At Least 60 Dead in Fresh Violence

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the opening of the Jakarta International Defense Dialogue in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 21, 2012.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the opening of the Jakarta International Defense Dialogue in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 21, 2012.

Fresh clashes broke out across Syria, a day after the United Nations Security Council called for the government and opponents to enact a peace plan proposed by a U.N. envoy.

Opposition and rights groups Thursday said the latest wave of violence had killed at least 60 people, more than half of them civilians.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA a bus carrying 10 people was attacked in Idlib province by unidentified assailants. Activists say at least five women and children were killed.  A separate group, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LOC) said the bus had been heading for a refugee camp across the border in Syria.  Syria's state-run news agency SANA blames armed terrorists for the incident.

The groups also blamed the Syrian government for shelling and clashes with rebels in Hama Thursday and a deadly ambush by opposition forces in the southern province, Daraa.  Activists also reported government troops killing three people in the Homs' district town of Qusair.

They said other fatalities included Syrian soldiers who had refused to fire on civilians.

Speaking in Malaysia Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a Security Council statement has sent a "clear" message to the Syrian government and signals a "turning point" in the international community's response to the crisis.

"All the violence must stop," said Ban. "And, there should be a political negotiation, inclusive political negotiation for the resolution of this issue, in a way which can meet the aspiration of the Syrian people and also humanitarian access should be established.''

The Security Council approved the so-called "presidential statement" Wednesday threatening Syria with unspecified "further steps" if international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace proposal is rejected.

Watch related video

Activists welcomed the action. VOA spoke with a Syrian activist living in the United States, who prefers to remain anonymous. She says activists in Syria and abroad see the Security Council statement as a "successful step."

"We see this as a very good step toward the right actions to stand with the Syrian people and also like a very good step to establish a transitional plan," she said.

The United Nations says at least 8,000 people have been killed in the Assad government's violent crackdown on the revolt, which began with peaceful protests and became increasingly militarized as army defectors attacked pro-Assad troops who assaulted civilians.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement Thursday saying Syrian security forces are committing "serious abuses" in Qusair, including shelling of residential areas and attacking fleeing residents. The group also described "dire" humanitarian conditions in the city.

The international community will hold its second "Friends of Syria" meeting next month in Istanbul amid efforts to bring the year-long government crackdown to an end. The U.S. State Department announced Thursday that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend the meeting on April 1.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bob
March 22, 2012 2:35 PM
The U.S. should stop helping the Syrian thugs in the face of opposition. Syrian people themselves will deal with the bandits, if the U.S. would not help them

by: jees
March 22, 2012 10:08 AM
Shame on those who support Free syrain army

by: almoros
March 22, 2012 9:54 AM
UN is right, but additionally, the world has to pay more attention to the worries and rights of Christians there in Syria!

by: NVO
March 22, 2012 8:27 AM
The UN, one of the leaders of the most CORRUPT organizations in the world that support rogue nations, and are pushing for a One World Government under the New World Order, to be(future tense) headed up by the AntiChrist and the False Prophet. The UN is a sham at best. Scripture wins.

by: NVO
March 22, 2012 8:05 AM
The UN is right in there with The Club of Rome, The Trilateral Commission, The Counsel of Foreing Relations, ALL pushing for a One World Government under The New World Order. The whole thing is a ploy and a sham! Down with the New World Order! Scripture wins.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs