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UN condemns lack of access in Syria

Source: Reuters - Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:09 AM
Author: Reuters
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As rockets fly across the Syrian battlefield, a civil war approaches its third anniversary.

In new amatuer video, rebels appear in firefights with government forces in rural Damascus.

Other video purports to show rebels regaining important ground.

Reuters cannot independently verify the videos, which were posted on social media websites.

The fighting comes as the United Nations demands more unfettered access to the country.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BAN KI-MOON, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, SAYING:

"I call on the Syrian government to authorize more humanitarian staff and partners to work in Syria. It is not credible to cite bureaucratic procedures as reasons for delay when it is the government itself that controls those procedures."

More than 136,000 have been killed in the fighting, which has forced half the population to flee from their homes.

The UN says nearly 4.3 million children have been affected.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KYUNG-WHA KANG, UNITED NATIONS ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND DEPUTY EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, SAYING:

"Children have been killed, arrested, abducted, tortured, mutilated, sexually abused, and recruited by armed groups. They have been used as human shields. They are malnourished. Syria is in the danger of losing a generation of its children."

The Security Council passed a resolution this past weekend demanding greater access, but it's unknown what consequences Syria will face if the government does not comply.

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