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UN investigators yet to determine perpetrators of Houla killings

English.news.cn   2012-06-27 18:55:04            

GENEVA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- The International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria is currently unable to determine the perpetrators of the killings in the Syrian town of Houla based on evidence available, UN investigators said on Wednesday.

"The Commission of Inquiry is unable to determine the identity of the perpetrators at this time," the investigators said in a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

"Nevertheless the CoI considers that forces loyal to the government may have been responsible for many of the deaths," said the report.

Over 100 people were reportedly killed in Syria's central village of Houla in May. Opposition groups said the tragedy was a result of artillery fire from government forces, while Syrian authorities blamed terrorist and extremist groups for the killings.

The commission was unable to visit the site of the killings, which hampered the investigation, according to the investigators' report. It conducted its investigation by interviewing witnesses either by telephone or in person.

The investigation team said it will update these findings and conclusions in its final report, due for delivery to the UNHRC at its 21st session in September when its mandate ends and will also deliver an amended, confidential list of suspected perpetrators.

The commission was established in September 2011 by the UNHRC to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in Syria and was requested to probe into the Houla killings in a special session of the UNHRC on June 1.

In the report, the commission headed by Paulo Pinheiro warned that the situation risks becoming more aggravated in the coming months as a result of "the estimated flow of new weapons and ammunitions, both to the government forces and to the anti-government armed groups."

"The international community must not fail to implement a concerted effort to put an end to the violence," it said.

Special Report: Syrian Situation


Editor: Lu Hui
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