U.N. uncovers another massacre
BEIRUT – U.N. monitors in Syria reported a new massacre Wednesday as diplomats at U.N. headquarters in New York scrambled to revive the faltering peace plan devised by special envoy Kofi Annan.
The latest atrocity – 13 men were found bound and shot near the eastern city of Dair Alzour – wasn’t as gruesome as the massacre last week in Houla, where more than 100 people, mostly women and children, were killed, sparking international outrage.
However, this latest incident again raised fears that Syria is headed inexorably into a vicious cycle of tit-for-tat mass killings and civil war.
“All of the bodies had their hands tied behind their backs and some appear to have been shot in the head from a short distance,” the U.N. said in a statement.
Maj. Gen. Robert Mood of Norway, head of the U.N. observer mission, called on both sides “to exercise restraint and end the cycle (of) violence for the sake of Syria and the Syrian people.”
The general’s plea came a day after Annan visited Damascus, the Syrian capital, and met with President Bashar Assad, urging him to “act now” to implement the U.N.-brokered peace blueprint. The plan, which went into effect with a cease-fire on April 12, has failed to stop the bloodshed.