UN emergency summit over Syria
May 27 2012
Syria has strongly denied UN allegations that its forces killed more than 90 people in one of the deadliest events of the country's uprising, and diplomats said the Security Council met in an emergency session to discuss the massacre.
The killings in the west-central area of Houla on Friday brought widespread international criticism of the regime of President Bashar Assad, although differences emerged from world powers over whether his forces were exclusively to blame.
Britain and France had proposed issuing a press statement condemning the massacre, but Russia told UN Security Council members it could not agree and wanted a briefing first by Norwegian Major General Robert Mood, the head of the UN observer team inside the country.
Russia has been Syria's most powerful ally during the uprising, and along with China has used its veto power to shield Damascus from UN sanctions.
The massacre in Houla on Friday cast fresh doubts on the ability of an international peace plan put forward by envoy Kofi Annan to end Syria's 14-month-old crisis.
The brutality of the killings became clear in amateur videos posted online that showed scores of bodies, many of them young children, in neat rows and covered with blood and deep wounds. A later video showed the bodies, wrapped in white sheets, being placed in a sprawling mass grave.
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