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At least 62 people were killed Thursday in Syria as former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan cautioned against outside military intervention, saying it could worsen an already precarious situation.
But, Annan told the Arab League summit in Cairo, “the violence and killings must stop immediately.”
Annan, the joint special envoy to Syria for the United Nations and the Arab League, began a visit to the region in Cairo on Wednesday. The U.N. said he will visit Damascus on Saturday “to seek an urgent end to all violence and human rights violations and to initiate efforts to promote a peaceful solution.”
“I hope that no one is thinking very seriously of using force in this situation,” Annan said Thursday. “I believe any further militarization would make the situation worse. We have to be careful not to introduce a medicine worse than the disease.”
Meanwhile, shelling and explosions rocked several Syrian cities Thursday as the Syrian regime continued assaults against opposition strongholds.
Thursday’s death toll included an entire family, said the Local Coordination Committees, an opposition activist network. Fifty-two people died in the city of Homs, the LCC said; 44 of them were executed in a field.
Security forces attacked a funeral procession in the Damascus neighborhood of Mazzeh and targeted the car carrying the body, the network said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another opposition group, said dozens of people were arrested.