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Russia calls for investigation into violent "crimes" in Syria

(Xinhua)

17:17, August 30, 2012

MOSCOW, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Wednesday strongly condemned the violence in Syria, and insisted the recent "crimes" in the Middle East country, including a reported massacre and terrorist bombings, be investigated by representatives from the UN and the Arab League.

Western media reported on Sunday about mass burials in a town close to Damascus, said to be the results of a deadly assault as the bloody conflict between the Syrian military and the armed opposition continued.

On Tuesday, at least 12 people were killed and 48 others injured when a car bomb ripped through a funeral procession for two people who were killed a day earlier by separate blasts in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana.

"All those guilty of these crimes should go on trial and be punished severely," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that certain forces "are not giving up attempts to further fan tensions in Syria and foil any steps towards a political settlement."

Meanwhile, the ministry reiterated its stance that there was no alternative to Kofi Annan's peace plan and the Geneva agreements.

"We insist that all the parties in the conflict without exception cease fire immediately and put the conflict on a political track on the current consensual basis for a Syrian settlement -- the plan of Kofi Annan and the Geneva agreements. There is no alternative to that," the ministry said.

According to a UN estimate, more than 18,000 people have been killed in the prolonged political crisis that broke out in Syria in March 2011.

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