UN rights chief troubled by Golan killing

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UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said Tuesday she was "deeply troubled" by an outbreak deadly unrest in the Golan Heights, where she said up to 40 people have reportedly been killed over three weeks.

"Between 30 and 40 protestors have reportedly been killed by Israeli security forces in the past three weeks," said Pillay in a statement.

"The government of Israel has a duty to ensure that its security personnel avoid the use of excessive force," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"However difficult the circumstances, the use of live ammunition against allegedly unarmed protestors, resulting in large numbers of deaths and injuries, inevitably raises the question of unnecessary and excessive use of force," she added.

Israeli troops fired at protestors marking the anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War on Sunday. Syrian state television said 23 people were killed in the incident while the Israeli army said 10 were killed.

Pillay also raised concerns that Syrian authorities had encouraged civilians to protest in places where landmines are located, noting that some fatalities may have been caused by the detonation of these mines.

"Syrian authorities have an obligation to ensure that civilians are prevented from entering areas where landmines are planted," she said.

© 2011 AFP

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