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Syrians who live in Greece and Greek supporters shout slogans outside the Syrian embassy in Athens AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

UN Security Council condemns violence in Syria

The condemnation comes as tanks and troops attack the city of Hama for a fourth day. More than 1,700 civilians are believed to have died since March.

THE UN SECURITY Council has condemned the violence in Syria as troops and tanks continue to storm to the city of Hama.

After weeks of debate, the Security Council has released a statement which “condemns the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities”.

The statement calls for an end to violence and “urges all sides to act with utmost restraint and to refrain from reprisals”. It also calls for those responsible to be held accountable. You can read the statement in full on the BBC website.

Syrian tanks stormed the city of Hama under heavy shelling today, taking over a main square at the heart of the city and cutting off electricity, water and phone lines on the fourth day of an offensive.

Opposition figures and activists accused the regime of striking hard at a moment when world and media attention were distracted by the trial in Egypt of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Bloomberg reports that the UN statement was agreed on because Lebanon, which has a pro-Syrian government, did not object, although it did issue a statement of its own disassociating itself from the UN condemnation.According to the Wall Street Journal the statement falls short of a UN resolution which would bring Syria’s leadership to the International Criminal Court. Any resolution has been blocked by Russia.

It’s estimated that 1,700 people have been killed in Syria since protests against president Bashar al-Assad’s regime began in mid-March.

Power and phone lines cut as Hama comes under seige from Syrian forces>

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