UNITED NATIONS, May 1 (Reuters) - More than 34 children have allegedly been killed in Syria since a shaky truce between President Bashar al-Assad's security forces and opposition groups took hold on April 12, the U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict said on Tuesday.
"Since a truce was agreed on April 12 ... and despite the deployment of United Nations ceasefire monitors, more than 34 children have allegedly been killed," special envoy Radhika Coomaraswamy said in a statement.
"I urge all parties in Syria to refrain from indiscriminate tactics resulting in the killing and wounding of children," she said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
According to U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay, the regime has targeted children intentionally.
"They've gone for the children - for whatever purposes - in large numbers. Hundreds detained and tortured...it's just horrendous," Pillay said in a BBC interview.
In February, Human Rights Watch issued a report documenting at least 12 cases of children who were tortured and detained under "inhumane" conditions. In one case, a boy reported being cuffed by his hand to the ceiling of a cell. "They left me hanging there for about seven hours, with about one-and-a-half to two centimeters between me and the floor I was standing on my toes," the boy said.
GlobalPost reported on the case of 13-year-old Hossam, who was allegedly blindfolded and physically assaulted by security forces. The boy described having his big toe nail ripped out with pliers and being beaten. Hossam told GlobalPost of his experience:
According to opposition groups, more than 11,000 people have been killed since the start of the uprising last March.
"He was shouting at me, 'You want freedom? You want to topple the regime?' And he beat me. They asked me, 'What is your name? What is your father's name? Where are you from? Why did you join the protest?' He showed me a video and said 'Isn’t that you?' I said no and he beat me. 'Isn’t that you?' No. He beat me. 'Isn’t that you?' Yes. He beat me more."
U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice tweets:
|@ AmbassadorRice : #Syria regime turned artillery, tanks and helicopters on its own men & women. It unleashed knife-wielding shabiha gangs on its own children.|
Russia says international envoy Kofi Annan will visit Moscow on Monday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria. Russia also called for an inquiry into an alleged massacre that took place in the village of Tramseh on Thursday. "We have no doubt that this wrongdoing serves the interests of those powers that are not seeking peace but persistently seek to sow the seeds of interconfessional and civilian conflict on Syrian soil," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. Moscow did not apportion blame for the killings.
Read more on Reuters.com.
The Associated Press obtained a video that purports to show the aftermath of an alleged massacre in the village of Tramseh, near Hama.
How do Syria's fighters get their arms? An overview put together by Reuters explains that there are three gateways to the country -- Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.
Syrian rebels are smuggling small arms into Syria through a network of land and sea routes involving cargo ships and trucks moving through Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, maritime intelligence and Free Syrian Army (FSA) officers say. Western and regional powers deny any suggestion they are involved in gun running. Their interest in the sensitive border region lies rather in screening to ensure powerful weapons such as surface to air missiles do not find their way to Islamist or other militants.
Read the full report here.
This citizen journalism image made from video provided by Shaam News Network SNN, purports to show a man mourning a victim killed by violence that, according to anti-regime activists, was carried out by government forces in Tremseh, Syria about 15 kilometers (nine miles) northwest of the central city of Hama, Thursday, July 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network, SNN)
According to the Hama Revolutionary Council, a Syrian opposition group, more than 220 people have been killed in a new alleged massacre in Taramseh. Earlier reports said more than 100 people were killed. "More than 220 people fell today in Taramseh," the Council said in a statement. "They died from bombardment by tanks and helicopters, artillery shelling and summary executions."
Fadi Sameh, an opposition activist from Taramseh, told Reuters he had left the town before the reported massacre but was in touch with residents. "It appears that Alawite militiamen from surrounding villages descended on Taramseh after its rebel defenders pulled out, and started killing the people. Whole houses have been destroyed and burned from the shelling," Sameh claimed.
Read more on Reuters.com.
Syrian activist Rami Jarrah tweets that Syrian State TV has confirmed deaths in Tremseh. "Terrorists" is often the term used by the Syrian regime for opposition forces.
|@ AlexanderPageSY : Syrian State TV: clashes between security apparatus & terrorists in #Tremseh of #Hama leaves large numbers of terrorists killed #Syria|
|@ Reuters : UPDATE: DEATH TOLL IN SYRIAN FORCES' ATTACK ON VILLAGE IN SYRIA'S HAMA REGION IS MORE THAN 200, MOSTLY CIVILIANS - OPPOSITION ACTIVISTS|