Islamic body urges end to Syria bloodshed

AFP , Monday 30 Jan 2012

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation calls on the international community to take the necessary measures to stop the continued bloodshed in Syria

People gather around the bodies of what they claim are protesters killed in clashes with police in Zamalka near Damascus, Syria, Friday, April 22, 2011. (AP Photo)

The head of the world's largest Muslim body urged the international community on Monday to take up its responsibilities in protecting Syrian civilians and ending bloodshed there.

"I renew my calls to the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to take up its responsibilities in protecting civilians and taking all measures to end bloodshed in Syria," the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, told AFP.

Ihsanoglu urged world countries to find "a solution that would ensure security and stability and prevent foreign intervention" in Syria where an uprising that began last March has left more than 5,400 people killed, based on figures by the United Nations from earlier this month.

The OIC chief slammed the "continuous killing of dozens of innocent civilians everyday."

"This is unacceptable and it is impossible to remain silent on it."

He said his grouping supports the Arab proposal for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy, an initiative rejected by Damascus and its ally Russia.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that President Bashar Al-Assad must end the killings in his country.

"First and foremost, he must stop immediately the bloodshed," Ban told reporters. "The Syrian leadership should take a decisive action at this time to stop this violence. All the violence must stop."

Assad's opponents have sought to ramp up pressure on the international community for UN action after the Arab League withdrew its observers amid mounting violence.

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