1. ITV Report

UN observers tour Tremseh as government denies attack claims

A resident in Tremseh shows an UN observer blood stained items in a house Photo: Reuters

United Nations observers have continued their investigation into claims of a government assault in the village of Tremseh by Syrian forces for a second day.

Activists have claimed that up to 200 people were killed by the military forces on Thursday.

The UN and special envoy Kofi Annan have accused the government of using heavy weaponry during the attack. Syria has denied these accusations.

On Sunday, the monitoring team released video of their tour of the village. A UN team commander described some of what they observed.

Jihad Makdissi, spokesman for Syria's Foreign Ministry, said security forces killed 37 fighters and two civilians in a campaign against the town, from which the government said rebels were launching attacks on other areas.

He told a news conference in Damascus: "Government forces did not use planes, or helicopters, or tanks or artillery. The heaviest weapon used was an RPG (rocket propelled grenade)."

Mr Makdissi also said:

"Yesterday we received a letter from Mr. Kofi Annan addressed to the Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.

"The least that can be said about this letter about what happened in Tremseh is that it did not rely on facts. As diplomatically as possible, we say that this letter was very rushed.

– Spokeman for Syria's Foreign Ministry

ITV News' Middle East Correspondent John Ray reports.

On Monday, Mr Annan who is leading efforts to implement a peace initiative in Syria, will travel to Moscow for two days of talks with the President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the crisis, a spokesman has confirmed.

Syria has dismissed letter from special envoy Kofi Annan as "very rushed" Credit: Reuters

On Friday, Mr Annan said: "I am shocked and appalled by news coming out of the village of Tremseh, near Hama, of intense fighting, significant casualties, and the confirmed use of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks and helicopters."

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