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‘There was a strong stench of burnt flesh’

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Copy of iol pic wld Mideast Syria

AP

File picture: United Nations monitors trying to reach the Syrian town of Haffeh on Tuesday were turned back by angry crowds who threw stones and metals rods at them, and three U.N. vehicles were fired upon as they left the area.

New York - UN observers who went to the Syria massacre village of Al-Kubeir saw blood on the walls and were hit by “a strong stench of burnt flesh” but were unable to confirm the death toll, a spokesman said Friday.

While the government has denied responsibility, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the observers saw armoured vehicle tracks and homes that were damaged by rockets, grenades and various weapons.

“Inside some of the houses, blood was visible across the walls and floors. Fire was still burning outside houses and there was a strong stench of burnt flesh,” the spokesman said in a grim account of the visit.

At least 55 people were killed on Wednesday in an assault on Al-Kubeir in Hama province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

More than 20 unarmed UN observers were allowed into Al-Kubeir on Friday after they were shot at and prevented from entering the village on Thursday, Nesirky said in a statement

The village was empty when they went in there and so the monitors were unable to talk to any witnesses of the attacks, which have shocked international opinion and led to calls for tougher action against President Bashar al-Assad.

Nesirky said people from a nearby village came “and spoke of what they had heard and the relatives they had lost.

“armoured vehicle tracks were visible in the vicinity. Some homes were damaged by rockets from armoured vehicles, grenades and a range of caliber weapons,” Nesirky said.

“The circumstances surrounding this attack are still unclear. The names, details and number of those killed are still not confirmed. The observers are still working to ascertain the facts,” he said. - Sapa-AFP


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