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U.N.: 2,200 Killed By Syrian Government In Crackdowns

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
August 22, 2011

The United Nation’s high commissioner on human rights said today that 2,200 have been killed since the Syrian government began cracking down on protesters in March.

The BBC reports:

Navi Pillay said the new toll included 350 deaths reported since the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Later, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it was “troubling” that President Bashar al-Assad had not kept his word about halting military operations.

Several people were killed in Homs as crowds welcomed a UN humanitarian team.

On Sunday, Mr Assad insisted that his government was in no danger of falling and warned that any foreign military intervention would backfire.

Last week the United Nations released a report that recommended Syria be investigated by the International Criminal Court for government sponsored killings.

Today, the AP reported that Arab nations called on Syria to allow the international probe. The AP reports it was a sign of the growing isolation of the Assad regime, whose family has ruled the country for 40 years.

But The Los Angeles Times reports that new protests inspired by the events in Libya have been met with brutal force. The Times reports that, today, the government has attacked protesters either before U.N. human rights delegation visits or immediately following them:

Even while protesters refuse to take up arms, plainclothes security officers continue to crack down on protesters in Latakia as U.N. human rights delegations visit different parts of Syria.

“U.N. human rights officers have made their way from the southern city of Banyas, and are coming to Latakia. Security personnel continue to crack down on protestors in Latakia, scaring people into submission before the U.N. arrives,” said Abu Yousef.

According to the Al-Riml resident, pro-democracy demonstrators took to the streets to show their support of the U.N. delegations, but were met with gunfire by Assad’s military forces in many cities.

Shaky and chilling video footage uploaded on Monday reportedly shows a man shot in the head by security forces in Homs after allegedly displaying support for the humanitarian delegations.

[Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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