UN condemns attempted assassination of Syrian prime minister

Posted at 04/30/13 9:37 AM

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned the attempted assassination of the Syrian prime minister in an attack that killed six people, describing it as a "terrorist attack."

Syria's prime minister survived a bomb attack on his convoy in Damascus on Monday though half a dozen other people were killed, as rebels struck in the heart of President Bashar al-Assad's capital.

"The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack on the convoy of Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki in Damascus earlier today, which resulted in deaths and injuries," Ban's press office said in a statement.

"The Secretary-General has consistently condemned all acts of terrorism," the statement said. "The targeting of civilians and civilian objects by anyone is unacceptable."

"The Secretary-General remains extremely worried at the continued escalation of violence in Syria, where civilians continue to be killed, injured, detained and abducted every day, including most recently the kidnapping of two prominent clerics in northern Syria," it added.

The United Nations said in February that around 70,000 people had been killed in Syria's conflict. Since then activists have reported daily death tolls of between 100 and 200.

Five million people have fled their homes, including 1.4 million refugees in nearby countries, and financial losses are estimated at many tens of billions of dollars.

The Beirut-based U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia estimates that 400,000 houses have been completely destroyed, 300,000 partially destroyed and a further half million have suffered some structural damage.