Syria’s use of force against civilians must end

The use of force against both peaceful civilians and representatives of state structures in Syria is unacceptable and should be stopped immediately, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

According to the media, more than 100 civilians were killed in Sunday’s protests in Syria in what human rights activists describe as one of the bloodiest days since the uprising began.

“We call upon the Syrian government and the opposition to show maximum restraint, to abandon acts of provocation and repressions, to observe legality and to respect international humanitarian law,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Al Jazeera reports that government forces launched fresh attacks on the town early on Monday morning.

“Military forces stormed the city from the west side and 25 people were killed and more than 65 injured,” Al Jazeera quoted a witness as saying.

Protests have continued in the country since mid-March with calls for President Bashar Assad’s resignation and political reform. In a bid to ease tensions, the government has recently passed a law that allows the formation of political parties and effectively ends the almost 50-year de-facto monopoly rule of the Baath party.

The violence was condemned by the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey and The Netherlands. Early on Monday, Germany demanded the UN Security Council convene for an emergency session.

More than 1,400 civilians have been killed since the start of the protests on March 15, Syrian human rights groups say. The government says 350 members of the security forces were killed in violence which they blame on “armed terrorist groups.”

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