United Nations monitors trying to get to the scene of the latest reported massacre in Syria were "shot at," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.
Syrian opposition groups said at least 78 villagers were murdered in Hama by pro-government militia forces Wednesday, Reuters reported. Up to 40 women and children were said to be among the dead.
Addressing the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Ban called the latest reports "shocking and sickening" and an "unspeakable barbarity," according to the BBC.
"I just learned a few minutes ago that while trying to do so, the U.N. monitors were shot at with small arms," Ban said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the Syrian government for the reported massacre, calling it "unconscionable."
"The regime-sponsored violence that we witnessed again in Hama yesterday is simply unconscionable," Clinton said, according to the Associated Press. "[Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad] has doubled down on his brutality and duplicity, and Syria will not, cannot be peaceful, stable or certainly democratic until Assad goes."
The Syrian government called the claims "absolutely baseless" and blamed armed terrorists for what it said was a similar attack, according to the AP.
The situation in Hama comes on the heels of a horrific attack in the town of Houla that left more than 90 dead.