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United Nations

Syrian diplomats expelled after massacre

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 01:33

May 29 - France expels Syrian ambassador hours after Australia makes a similar move and other countries plan to follow suit in condemnation of Friday's massacre of more than 100 people. Lindsey Parietti reports.

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Bodies line a mass grave in Houla, Syria. Amid ongoing violence, several countries are sending Syrian diplomats packing following the devastating weekend attack. A UN spokesman says most of the 108 victims were executed house by house, including at least 84 women and children. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. RIGHTS SPOKESMAN RUPERT COLVILLE, SAYING: "What is clear is that government forces were involved, they were shelling using tanks and artillery, and it appears to be Shabbiha militia entering the houses and slaughtering people in what is really an abominable crime that took place throughout the day on Friday." Australia, the UK and France are expelling top Syrian diplomats, and other countries are making similar moves. British Foreign Secretary William Hague says they need to work with Russia, one of Syria's few remaining allies, to increase pressure. Meanwhile Russia's foreign minister blamed rebels, saying they want to incite war. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "We are certainly worried by continuing attempts to derail (U.N. envoy) Kofi Annan's (ceasefire) plan. Now the pretext being used is the tragic events outside the town of Houla on May 25." Russia and China have used their UN veto power to block stronger moves against President Bashar al-Assad. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters

Syrian diplomats expelled after massacre

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 01:33

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