Syrian Troops Kill 50

Despite the presence of United Nations monitors, violence continues to mar Syria. Activists say an estimated 50 people were killed on Friday by state troops at an antigovernment protest in Houla, a town in Homs province. The casualties include 13 children, and rebels say the total number could be as high as 83, while the Syrian government claims it’s only 17. Security forces began firing into the crowd, and antigovernment troops retaliated, leading to a bloody clash, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently wrote a letter to the Security Council saying that progress was being made, but there is a “continuing crisis on the ground, characterized by regular violence, deteriorating humanitarian conditions, human rights violations and continued political confrontation.”