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UN Rights Chief Accuses Syrian Regime Of War Crimes

UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
The United Nations' human rights chief has accused the Syrian government of committing crimes against humanity by attacking towns with heavy weapons.

Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, told a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 18 that the use of heavy weapons and the shelling of populated areas amounts to "crimes against humanity and possibly war crimes."

She said the perpetrators, including those who attacked UN observers trying to reach the besieged town of Al-Haffa in northern Syria last week, should be held accountable.

Pillay said the Syrian conflict continues to escalate and "the suffering of civilians has increased significantly."

UN monitors in Syria suspended their mission on June 16, saying increasing violence had made their observer mission more dangerous.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa