UN rights body extends Syria war crimes mission

The panel led by Brazilian professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro has blamed Syria

In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 photo, Syrian rebel fighters flash the victory sign while moving past a building destroyed partly in a government shelling in Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.'s top human rights body is extending the mission of its independent expert panel probing alleged war crimes in Syria's 18-month conflict.

The panel led by Brazilian professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro has blamed Syria's government forces for the majority of serious abuses since the uprising began in March 2011.

Last week it submitted a confidential second list of suspected war crimes perpetrators to the U.N. human rights office. The panel's mandate was due to expire at the end of the month.

Members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council on Friday voted 41 to three in favor of a resolution put forward by Arab states. Three countries abstained.

Russia, China and Cuba opposed the resolution.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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