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Special envoy Kofi Annan heads to Syria following Houla massacre

  • UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan is to visit Damascus, a day after an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council heard that 108 people were killed and 300 injured in the Syrian town of Houla.

    Forty-nine children and 34 women were among Friday's dead.

    The killings have sparked international outrage with the UK urging Russia, Syria’s only major foreign ally, to exercise their influence on President Bashar al-Assad.

    The Syrian government has denied any involvement in the attacks and has blamed armed "terrorists".

    The closed meeting was called after Russia rejected a joint UK-French statement condemning the attacks.

    Opposition activists say some victims were killed during shelling while others were shot dead at close range by the regime militia known as the "shabiha".

    The UN estimates that at least 10,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011.