UN Security Council Condemns Syrian Violence

New York -MAP- The United Nations Security Council condemned ongoing violence perpetrated by the security forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against anti-government protesters. The council, which censured Syria by issuing a presidential statement rather than a full-blown resolution, criticized the Assad government's "widespread" human rights violations in its attacks on civilians.

The UN statement came after months of diplomatic debate over how to address the crackdown against protesters. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice called it a "strong step" for the international community, but human rights groups criticized the statement for lacking any concrete actions to hold the Assad government accountable.

Meanwhile, Syrian tanks continued to bombard the city of Hama. Human rights groups say at least one hundred and forty people have been killed since Sunday in Hama and surrounding towns.

Security forces shot and killed at least four protesters following evening prayers Wednesday in the cities of Damascus, Deraa, and Palmyra. Anti-government demonstrators have vowed to rally every night during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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