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GENEVA, May 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)said on Sunday it was shocked by the high number of civilian casualties caused by the tragic events in al-Holeh (Houla), in Homs governorate and conveyed its deepest sympathy with the families of the victims.
"We urge the parties to the fighting to distinguish at all times between civilians and those participating in the hostilities," said Marianne Gasser, the head of the ICRC delegation in Syria. "Especially when fighting in populated areas, the parties must constantly take care in their choice of means and method of warfare to spare civilians the effect of the hostilities."
The ICRC said it remained extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Syria. It also called for the civilian population to be allowed to move to safer areas should they fear for their safety. Injured people must have access to medical care without delay, the ICRC said.
Since the beginning of the year the ICRC has brought aid to over 300,000 displaced people and others affected by the violence in the country.
The Houla situation will be the subject of the Sunday briefing of UN Observation Mission in Syria head Gen. Robert Mood.
Russia requested the briefing, as the majority of media reports covering the Houla tragedy put the blame on the Syrian armed forces, which allegedly used heavy armaments in bombarding the town.
The French-British draft statement on Syria posted at the UN Security Council strongly condemned the use of heavy armaments by the Syrian army in shooting at residential areas and murders of dozens of men, women and children and injuries of hundreds of people in Houla, near Homs, confirmed by UN observes.