05/27/2012 11:14 EDT | Updated 07/27/2012 05:12 EDT

John Baird Calls For Tougher Sanctions From Canada and UN Against Syrian Regime Following Houla Massacre

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OTTAWA - Canada is calling for tougher sanctions against Syria following an attack on the town of Houla that killed more than 100 men, women and children.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday and called for those responsible for the slaughter to be held accountable.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the attack on Friday — one of the deadliest of the country's 14-month-old uprising — shows the Syrian regime's appalling disregard for human life.

Baird says stronger action is needed, including economic sanctions, to ensure the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad "immediately stops the senseless slaughter of its own people."

The Syrian government has denied responsibility for the Houla massacre, blaming it on "hundreds of heavily armed gunmen" who also attacked soldiers in the area.

The brutality of the killings is made clear in amateur videos posted online that show scores of bodies, many of them young children, in neat rows and covered with blood and deep wounds.

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