OTTAWA - Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister is condemning the latest bloodshed in Syria, calling the violence "very disconcerting because of its depravity."
John Baird says the international community needs to redouble its efforts to get Syria to agree to an international peace plan mapped out a month ago, or explore other diplomatic solutions.
Activists say Syria's military and pro-regime militia have killed more than 90 people in the village of Houla, including at least 32 children under the age of 10.
The government blames "terrorists" — a term it uses to describe the opposition, but a U.N. observer says inspectors found artillery shells.
Grotesque videos of the young victims have been posted online. The attack has been condemned by international leaders and has sparked large protests in suburban Syria.
Baird says the number of children feared dead at Houla is "especially reflective of the regime’s utter contempt for humanity and decency."
He says Canada is calling on all parties to immediately respect a ceasefire, co-operate with UN observers and support the efforts of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to resolve the crisis with the international peace plan.
Baird says Canada will continue to work with its partners to isolate Bashar Assad's regime and support the Syrian people's hopes for a better future.
The uprsing against Assad has been going on for 14 months. The U.N. put the death toll weeks ago at more than 9,000. Hundreds have been killed since.