UN rights panel looking into 20 massacres in Syria


GENEVA — The head of a U.N. commission investigating abuses in Syria says it has been collecting evidence about 20 massacres, including three in the central city of Homs since December.

Commission chair Paulo Sergio Pinheiro says the destructive stalemate between President Bashar Assad's regime and anti-government rebels is fueling a rise in mass killings, with the violence spreading to such an extent that “there are no more enclaves of stability in Syria today.”

Commission member Vitit Muntarbhorn also told reporters today both sides are committing war crimes but it appears that “government authorities have been involved more in regard to crimes against humanity.”

The United Nations estimates more than 70,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict that started two years ago as a popular uprising against Assad's authoritarian rule.