| World News | Sunday May 27 2012 5:50
UN observers have rushed to a town in central Syria where scores of civilians were reportedly massacred, including 25 children, as the opposition renewed calls for air strikes on regime forces.
The shelling of the town of Houla by regime forces, which began at around noon on Friday and continued until dawn on Saturday, killed more than 90 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"A team of UN observers arrived in the village of Taldau (outside) Houla, to document the crimes committed in the past 24 hours, in violation of the ceasefire," the rights watchdog said on Saturday, adding that explosions and gunfire could be heard.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the massacre and said he was "making immediate arrangements for a Friends of Syria group meeting in Paris."
He spoke after the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) again called for Friends of Syria nations to launch air strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
Turkey-based General Mustafa Ahmed al-Sheikh, head of the FSA's military council, urged "an appropriate stance after the heinous crime committed by Assad's assassin regime in the Houla region."
"We are calling urgently on the Friends of Syria to create a military alliance, outside of the UN Security Council, to carry out targeted strikes against Assad's gangs and the symbols of his regime," he said.
Amateur videos posted on YouTube showed horrifying images of children lying dead on a floor. Some corpses were badly mangled, with at least one child's head partly blown away.
The Britain-based Observatory accused the international community of being "complicit" in the killing and standing "silent in the face of the massacres committed by the Syrian regime."