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Assad denies involvement in Houla massacre

  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied his government's forces were involved in the Houla massacre.

    More than 100 people, including 49 children and 34 women, were killed in the overnight attack between May 25 and 26. Most of them were stabbed or shot at close range, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    In his first speech to parliament since January, Assad blamed the escalating conflict on "foreign meddling”.

    According to eyewitnesses, pro-government militias had carried out most of the killings.

    The massacre has sparked international outrage and led to the expulsion of Syrian diplomats by several countries in protest.