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Ban Ki-Moon, UN Chief, Calls Syria's Bombardment Of Homs 'Unacceptable Before Humanity'

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BAN KI MOON
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talks during a press conference with Jordan Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, not pictured, in Amman, Jordan Tuesday Jan. 31, 2012, following their talks on reviving stalled Israel-Palestinian talks and ways to stop the spiraling violence in Syria. (AP Photo/ Mohammad Hannon) | AP


UNITED NATIONS, Feb 6 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday denounced Syrian forces' bombardment of the city of Homs in a statement that said it was "unacceptable before humanity" and eroded the legitimacy of the Damascus government.

The sustained assault on several districts of Homs, which has become a center of armed opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, killed at least 50 people on Monday, according to the Syrian National Council opposition group.

The statement issued by Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky, the latest and one of the strongest U.N. condemnations of Syrian government tactics, said Ban was "appalled" by the mounting death toll.

"Such violence is totally unacceptable before humanity," it said. "No government can commit such acts against its people without its legitimacy being eroded."

The statement said Ban "strongly condemns" the onslaught. The failure of the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to pass a resolution on Syria because of vetoes by Russia and China, "gives no license to the Syrian authorities to step up attacks on the Syrian population," it added.

"All violence must end immediately," the statement said. "The Secretary-General reminds the government of Syria that it is accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by its security forces against the civilian population."

Ban called for "an inclusive Syrian-led political process, in accordance with international law, that respects the will and legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people to a democratic and pluralistic political system." (Reporting By Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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