Activists say 111 killed in Syria’s “bloodiest day”

BEIRUT,  (Reuters) – Syrian forces killed 111  people ahead of the start of a mission to monitor President  Bashar al-Assad’s implementation of an Arab League peace plan,  activists said yesterday, and France branded the killings an  “unprecedented massacre”.

Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights  said 111 civilians and activists were killed on Tuesday when  Assad’s forces surrounded them in the foothills of the northern  Jabal al-Zawiyah region in Idlib province and unleashed two  hours of bombardment and heavy gunfire.

Another 100 army deserters were either wounded or killed,  making it the “bloodiest day of the Syrian revolution”, he said.

“There was a massacre of unprecedented scale in Syria on  Tuesday,” said French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.  “It is urgent that the U.N. Security Council issues a firm  resolution that calls for an end to the repression.”

The United States said it was deeply disturbed by reports of  indiscriminate killing and warned Assad the violence must stop.  Britain said it was shocked by the reports and urged Syria to  “end immediately its brutal violence against civilians”.

Events in Syria are hard to verify because authorities, who  say they are battling terrorists who have killed more than 1,100  soldiers and police, have banned most independent reporting.

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