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Key UN committee approves resolution condemning 'gross' human rights violations by Syria

A key U.N. committee has overwhelmingly approved a resolution strongly condemning "gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms" by Syrian authorities and government-controlled militias and demanding an immediate halt to the violations and attacks by civilians.

The resolution urges Syrian authorities to immediately release all detainees and calls for a prompt independent international investigation into abuses and violations of international law.

The General Assembly's human rights committee approved the resolution on Tuesday by a vote of 130 to 12 with 35 abstentions. Russia, China and Iran, allies of President Bashar Assad's government, were among those opposed to the resolution.

It is virtually certain to be adopted by the 193-member world body when it votes next month.