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Rights Groups Ask Hague Court To Probe Syria Killings

Rights groups say more than 1,200 civilians have been killed in the crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime since the Syrian unrest erupted in mid-March.
Syrian and international human rights groups today called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians during protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The prosecutor's office at the ICC said it had received the request, but its jurisdiction could only cover crimes committed in Syria by nationals of ICC member states.

Damascus has not signed the 2002 act that set up the court, which means the ICC does not have jurisdiction in Syria -- unless the UN Security Council refers it to the court.

On June 7, Amnesty International called on the Security Council to refer Syria to the ICC.

France says it is ready to ask for a draft resolution condemning Syria despite Russia's threat to veto such a move.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government has vowed to respond firmly to what it says was an attack by armed men, which killed 120 security personnel in the north of the country.

Details of the reported attack in the town of Jisr al-Shughour on June 6 are impossible to verify.

Rights activists say the deaths occurred when security forces who refused to fire on protesters were executed by fellow soldiers.

compiled from agency reports