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UN: Syrian regime, rebels both increasing attacks on civilians (+video)

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(Read caption) UN investigators say they've discovered Islamist militants fighting alongside rebels in Syria. Deborah Gembara reports.
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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

As the Syrian conflict spilled into neighboring Lebanon yesterday, the United Nations released a report indicating both the Syrian Army and rebel forces had increased attacks against civilians – which, if proved, would be war crimes under international law.

UN investigators announced they have a “formidable and extraordinary body of evidence” of human rights abuses committed by both sides of the conflict in Syria, and urged the Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.

“Gross human rights violations have grown in number, in pace, and in scale,” Paulo Pinheiro, who led the UN commission of inquiry into human rights abuses in Syria, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday. “There is no statue of limitations on these crimes.”

The United Nations estimates that over the past 18 months of conflict in Syria, more than 19,000 people – mostly civilians – have been killed. In addition, an estimated 1.2 million are now internally displaced, and close to a quarter million have fled the country.

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