Syria president denies role in Houla massacre

Associated Press
People watch Syrian president Bashar Assad deliver a live speech in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, June 3, 2012. Assad says his government had nothing to do with the Houla massacre, saying not even "monsters" would carry out such an ugly crime. The speech Sunday marked Assad's first comments on the killings. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)
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People watch Syrian president Bashar Assad deliver a live speech in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, June 3, 2012. Assad says his government had nothing to do with the Houla massacre, saying not even "monsters" would carry out such an ugly crime. The speech Sunday marked Assad's first comments on the killings. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad says his government had nothing to do with the Houla massacre, saying not even "monsters" would carry out such an ugly crime.

The speech Sunday marked Assad's first comments on the killings. As in other speeches, he insisted terrorists are behind the country's uprising.

A massacre last week in Syria's central region of Houla killed more than 100 people, nearly half of them children.

The opposition and the government have exchanged accusations over the deaths, each blaming the other. U.N. investigators have said there are strong suspicions that pro-regime gunmen are responsible for at least some of the killings.

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