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Ban urges Syria talks

Thursday, February 09, 2012 - 01:57

Feb. 9 - The U.N Secretary General appeals for an end to civilian deaths as Syrian forces step up their bombardment of the city of Homs. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Footage like this uploaded to social media websites gives what Syrian opposition activists say is a taste of life in civilian areas of Homs. This video was uploaded on Wednesday. Reuters is not able to independently verify the contents. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stepped up their bombardment on Thursday. The activists say dozens are dying every day under sustained shelling some are comparing with the bombing of Benghazi in Libya that triggered international action. Turkey is now calling for international moves to protect civilians after Russia and China's veto of a less interventionist U.N Security Council resolution urging Assad to step down. The Security Council is now considering an Arab League plan for a joint observer mission in Syria. An Arab League mission collapsed after allegations that Damascus was refusing to co-operate with it. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says action is needed - fast. SOUNDBITE: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon saying (English): "I feel that the appalling brutality that we are witnessing in Homs with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighbourhoods is a grim harbinger of what's to come." Despite a promise to Russia to halt the bloodshed the bombardment of Homs shows no sign of ending. The activists say at least 90 tanks and other armoured vehicles along with 1, 000 soldiers have been redeployed to Homs from other areas. They're warning large Sunni neighbourhoods that have seen the heaviest rocket and mortar fire remain without power and water and basic supplies are running low. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Ban urges Syria talks

Thursday, February 09, 2012 - 01:57