25 Mar 2012

Envoy seeks Russian support on Syria plan

8:09 pm on 25 March 2012

The United Nations-Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, has arrived in Moscow to seek support for his peace plan calling for an immediate halt to the use of military force in populated areas.

Kofi Annan will try to persuade Russia to take a firmer stance against the Syrian government, the BBC reports.

Next week, he will travel to China which, like Russia, has generally supported Syria at the UN.

Meanwhile, pro-democracy activists in Syria say at least 54 people were killed on Saturday - 25 of them in Homs, the city at the heart of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

An activist in the city's Bab Sbaa district told Reuters that mortar and tank fire was being used in many neighbourhoods, adding that most residents in the area had fled to safer districts and many were trying to escape the city altogether.

The government has been targeting its own people since an uprising began a year ago.

At least 8000 people have died in the revolt, according to United Nations figures.