Syria denies involvement in massacre, but countries expel Syrian diplomats

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Syria is again insisting it had nothing to do with the massacre that left 108 people dead in central Syria last week.

The U.N.'s human rights office says most of the victims were shot at close range -- and they included women, children and entire families who were gunned down in their homes.

A deputy foreign minister says it would be "irrational" for the Syrian government to carry out such a massacre. He says Syria wants the peacekeeping mission of envoy Kofi Annan to succeed.

But there's new international outrage aimed at the Syrian government today, with more than a half dozen countries -- including the United States, Britain and France, expelling Syrian diplomats in protest of the deaths.

Annan met today in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad, and said afterward that Syria is "at a tipping point." He said the people of Syria "do not want the future to be one of bloodshed and division." He called on the government and the armed opposition to stop all violence.

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