UN monitors shot at trying to verify massacre in Syria

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UN Observers in Syria

United Nations observers in Syria were shot at on Thursday as they attempted to verify a massacre in the village of Mazraat al-Qubeir, according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Syrian activists said at least 78 people were massacred in the village near Hama.

Mr. Ban, who addressed the UN General Assembly, called the reports shocking and sickening.

"A village apparently surrounded by Syrian forces, the bodies of innocent civilians lying there, they were shot some allegedly burned or slashed with knives. We condemn this unspeakable barbarity and renew our determination to bring those responsible to account. The UN monitors were initially denied access. They are working now to get to the scene. And I just learned a few minutes ago that, while trying to do so, the UN monitors were shot at with small arms."

The head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, General Robert Mood said in a statement that monitors trying to get to the village had been stopped at Syrian Army checkpoints and in some cases turned back.

He also said they are receiving information from residents of the area that the safety of the observers is at risk if they enter the village.

Duration: 41″

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