Damascus denied on Thursday any responsibility for the death of two Western journalists in the Syrian rebel city of Homs. "We refuse to endorse statements that make Syria responsible for the deaths of journalists who have infiltrated its territory under their own responsibility," responded the Foreign Ministry, quoted by state television.
The two journalists died in the bombing of a press center for opposition activists. Rémi Ochlik, a French photojournalist, 28 years old and American Mary Colvin, 55, journalist for the British newspaper The Sunday Times, were killed on the spot.
According to an opposition activist, "three or four other foreign journalists were injured."
Meanwhile, Syrian security forces shot and killed unarmed women and children, bombed residential neighborhoods and tortured wounded people in hospitals following the orders given by the 'highest level' of the military and government, according to a new report by the UN on the situation of human rights in Syria, published Thursday. The independent investigators of the UN Commission have called to bring the perpetrators of these "crimes against humanity" to justice.
The death toll in the country now stands at 7,600 people, according to activists.
Chaired by the Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, the commission states that the rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army have also committed abuses, including killings and kidnappings, but 'in a much lower' extent.
The investigators compiled a list of senior and middle-ranking officers who have ordered their subordinates to fire on unarmed demonstrators, killing soldiers who refused to obey these orders, to arrest people without reason, to abuse prisoners and attacks on civilian neighborhoods with indiscriminate fire from tanks and machine guns," says the commission.