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11:01 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Moscow Calls for Probe into 'Terrorist Acts' in Syria

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Moscow insists that terrorist acts in Syria should be investigated with UN and Arab League representatives, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Moscow insists that terrorist acts in Syria should be investigated with UN and Arab League representatives, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

It referred in particular to the mass killing of civilians in the Damascus suburb of Daraya, where, it said, more than 200 bodies were found.

“This is yet another crime of a provocative nature,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.

“Moscow resolutely condemns these barbarous acts of violence,” the ministry said. “At the same time we insist on a thorough and unbiased investigation into all the circumstances of the recent tragedies.”

“All those guilty of these crimes should go on trial and be punished severely,” the ministry said.

The ministry reiterated that there is no alternative to Kofi Annan’s peace plan and the Geneva accords.

Al Arabiya television reported that more than 300 people were killed in Daraya, citing opposition activists. The opposition alleges that the dead were executed during a military operation by government troops on August 25.

Since it began with demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in March 2011, the Syrian conflict has escalated into a full-scale civil war that has claimed up to 20,000 lives, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups.