UN Monitors in Syria Shot at Trying to Reach Site of Massacre

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that U.N. monitors where shot at Thursday while trying to reach the village where another Syrian massacre took the lives of at least 78 villagers.

The U.N. monitors were shot at with small arms while attempting to access Mazraat al-Qubeir, the site of the latest massacre in Syrian, the secretary-general told the General Assembly on Thursday. No causalities or injuries were reported among the monitors.

Syrian opposition groups have argued that a pro-government militia, known as Shabiha, carried out a massacre Wednesday on civilians in Mazraat al-Qubeir. Among the dead were 40 women and children, the activists said.

"Today's news reports of another massacre in (Mazraat) al-Qubeir … are shocking and sickening," Ban told the assembly during the meeting Thursday.

"The Syrian people are bleeding. They are angry. They want peace and dignity. Above all, they all want action," Ban told reporters following the council meeting on Syria.

"The danger of a civil war is imminent and real," he added.

Images of bloodied and charred bodies have been making their way across the Internet, causing leaders around the globe to condemn the violence.

"We are disgusted by what we are seeing (in Syria)," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a news conference Thursday in Istanbul.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague also condemned the attacks and expressed his concern that the crisis in Syria might escalate to a sectarian conflict similar to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s.

"Syria is clearly on the edge … of deeper violence, of deep sectarian violence; village against village, pro-government militias against opposition areas and looking more like Bosnia in the 1990s than of Libya last year," Hauge told reporters.

Wednesday's massacre followed another devastating civilian attack carried out on May 25 in Houla, which left 108 people dead, including 34 women and 49 children. All of the children were under the age of 10.