UN chief urges speedy probe of Syria mass killings

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an immediate, independent investigation into the killing of hundreds of civilians in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Monday that the U.N. chief was shocked by reports of the mass killings "and he strongly condemns this appalling and brutal crime."

Evidence mounted over the weekend of mass killings by government forces after they seized Daraya from rebels Thursday.

Nesirky said the killings underscore the lack of protection for civilians, the urgent need to move "from bloodshed to political dialogue" and the need to hold those responsible for "atrocities" accountable.

"In the case of what we've seen where hundreds of civilians have been killed in Daraya, this needs to be investigated immediately in an independent and impartial fashion," Nesirky said.