New shelling in central Syria

2012-05-30 09:45

Beirut - Activists say Syrian troops are shelling restive suburbs of Damascus and rebel-held areas in the central city of Homs.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Co-ordination Committees did not have any details of casualties caused by Wednesday's bombardment in Homs city and the suburb Douma.

The rural district of Houla, where 108 people were massacred last week, is in the province of Homs.

Japan has told the Syrian ambassador in Tokyo to leave the country, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday, as international outrage grows over brutal mass slayings blamed on the government in Damascus.

The Japanese government asked Mohamed Ghassan Al Habash to depart "as soon as possible", an official said.

The move lines Tokyo up with many of its Western allies who have kicked out Syrian diplomats after expressing disgust over the massacre of civilians in Houla.

Mounting outrage

"This is an action to show Japan's protest to Syria over not only the violence, but also the latest intense violation of human rights" the official said.

"The Japanese government made this move in coordination with other states," he said.

On Tuesday, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States all kicked out the highest ranking Syrian diplomats in their countries in a bid to increase pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The co-ordinated envoy expulsions followed mounting international outrage over the massacre on Friday in the central town of Houla, in which at least 108 people, including 49 children, were killed, according to UN figures.

The Syrian government has said it will conclude on Wednesday its own investigation into the killings. It is not clear whether the results will be made public.

 

Read more on:    bashar al-assad  |  syria  |  japan  |  uprising  |  syria conflict

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