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UN Human Rights Inquiry Demands Access To Syria


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Damascus attack on the U.S. ambassador to Syria was "wholly unjustified."
A UN-backed rights commission is urging Syria to let it into the country to investigate reports of killings and torture amid protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

"We have received many scary reports about the situation of children during the conflict," commission head Paulo Pinheiro said in Geneva.

Pinheiro did not refer to any specific cases, but a YouTube video of the bloodied corpse of a 13-year-old boy sparked international outrage earlier this year.

Meanwhile, witnesses and activists said that at least 11 protesters were killed today when Syrian troops opened fire at antigovernment protests in various areas across Syria.

On September 29, Washington condemned an attack on its ambassador in Syria.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the incident "part of an ongoing campaign of intimidation aimed at diplomats."

Ambassador Robert Ford was pelted with tomatoes by supporters of Assad as he entered the office an opposition figure. He was trapped inside for about three hours as Assad supporters -- numbering about 100 -- tried to break into the building. Ford said Syrian security forces failed to show up for more than an hour.

Clinton condemned the attack as "wholly unjustified."

"I must say that this inexcusable assault is clearly part of an ongoing campaign of intimidation, aimed not at just American diplomats, but diplomats from other countries, foreign observers, who are raising questions about what's going on inside Syria, "Clinton said.

"It reflects an intolerance on the part of the regime and its supporters, and it is deeply regrettable that we have the Assad regime continuing its campaign of violence against its own people."

Ford has angered the Syrian regime by traveling to demonstrations outside of Damascus to support the protesters.

The attack on Ford came days after government backers tossed eggs and stones at France's ambassador as he left a meeting in Damascus with a Greek Orthodox patriarch.

compiled from agency reports

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