UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting on the situation in Syria, hearing that the toll from a massacre in the town of Houla has risen to 108 dead and 300 injured.
The new toll, revealed via video-link by the head of the UN monitoring team in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, came as Russia put off moves for a statement blaming President Bashar al-Assads regime for the killings.
The Houla killings on Friday and Saturday sparked international outrage and condemnation, but Russias deputy ambassador to the UN yesterday cast doubt on the guilt of Syrias government over the massacre.
We need to establish whether it was the Syrian authorities, Igor Pankin told reporters at the United Nations yesterday, closing ranks with a key Middle Eastern ally as Damascus continued to deny its forces were responsible.
There are substantial grounds to believe that the majority of those who were killed were either slashed, cut by knives, or executed at point blank distance.
Mood, a Norwegian, briefed the Security Council as UN and Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan was expected to fly to Damascus today to try to rescue his six-point peace plan amid a crumbling ineffective truce.