The United Nations human rights chief has called for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Syria, as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed dozens more people in attacks on rebellious areas.
Rights groups say government troops killed at least 41 civilians Tuesday throughout Syria, including 20 in an assault on the central protest hub of Helfaya. Opposition sources in the besieged city of Homs told Reuters that tanks from the Syrian army's elite Fourth Division, controlled by Mr. Assad's brother, Maher, had moved onto the streets.
In Geneva, Navi Pillay told the U.N. Human Rights Council the international community must take action to prevent Syrian troops from continuing to assault civilians. Syria's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva ((Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui)) walked out of the meeting.
Council members are expected to condemn Syria Tuesday for its "brutal" use of heavy weapons in residential areas and persecuting opponents, its fourth such rebuke to Mr. Assad since the uprising began last March.
The United Nations said Tuesday that "well over 7,500 people" have been killed in Syria during the government crackdown, raising its previous estimated death toll by more than 2,000.
U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council that "credible reports" say the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, "including many women and children." Syrian officials insist the government is fighting foreign-backed armed "terrorists."