United Nations observers reported that a brutal attack in a city near Homs on Friday left 32 children and at least 60 adults dead, with an estimated 300 wounded. Syrian anti-government groups claim that official troops raked the city with mortar shells and then sent thugs and soldiers in. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his predecessor, Kofi Annan, released a joint statement calling for a ceasefire and criticizing the government for the attack. Bloody images of the young casualties prompted anti-government demonstrations across the country.
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