Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says United Nations monitors were shot at trying to get to the scene of the latest Syrian massacre, charging that President Bashar Assad's regime has lost any remaining legitimacy.
The UN chief told the General Assembly on Thursday that the unarmed observers were initially denied access to the scene in central Hama and "were shot at with small arms" while trying to get there.
He did not mention any casualties.
The US also blasted the latest Syrian massacred, saying that it "strongly condemns the outrageous targeted killings of civilians including women and children."
"This, coupled with the Syrian regime’s refusal to let UN observers into the area to verify these reports, is an affront to human dignity and justice," the US said.
'Fundamental humanity lost'
Earlier, Syrian state TV denied obstructing the observers work and said the monitors had successfully reached Mazraat al-Qubair - a farming area in the central Hama province and site of the latest killings.
Ban said each day in Syria sees more "grim atrocities" and for many months it has been evident that President Assad and his government "have lost all legitimacy."
Ban said any regime that tolerates killings such as last month's massacre of more than 100 civilians in Houla and Wednesday's attack in Hama "has lost its fundamental humanity," and he condemned "this unspeakable barbarity."
Also Thursday, Gen. Robert Mood, the head of the observers mission in Syria, said UN patrols were stopped at Syrian army checkpoints and in some cases turned back. He said some patrols were also stopped by civilians and added they had received information from residents that the safety of observers was at risk if they proceeded.
The mission "is concerned about the restriction imposed on its movement as it will impede our ability to monitor, observe and report," Mood said in a statement.
Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to the report
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