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Page last updated at 06:52 GMT, Thursday, 7 June 2012 07:52 UK

Syria: Children 'burnt alive in homes'


Opponents of the government in Syria are claiming that 86 people have been killed by government forces in Hama province in a massacre they are comparing to the killings at Houla last week.

Musab Al Hammadi, an anti-government activist in Hama, says that women and children were "burnt alive in their homes".

He told the Today programme that he believes the Syrian regime is "trying to lead the Syrian people into a sectarian war" by allowing pro-government militias to murder civilians.

Syrian writer and associate fellow at the foreign affairs think tank Chatham House, Rime Allaf, says that Russia and China's reluctance to intervene in Syria is "excellent news for the Syrian regime" who are interpreting these positions as "impotence from the international community".

They are giving Assad "carte-blanche to continue doing what it has been doing", she said.

She told the programme that she believes a new interpretation is developing in the world that non-intervention is making things worse.

"One way or another somebody has to do something," she said.

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