UN chief concerned over escalating conflict in Syria

United Nations, July 2 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday expressed grave concern over the escalating violence in Homs, Syria, renewing his call for a political solution that "remains the only way out of this tragedy", reported Xinhua.

"The secretary-general calls on the warring sides to do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and to allow immediate humanitarian access, as well as opportunities for trapped civilians to leave without fear of persecution," said a statement issued by his spokesperson.

An estimated 2,500 people remain trapped amid heavy fighting in Homs, a city located 162 km north of the capital city of Damascus.

Meanwhile, Ban also expressed his concern over threats to seize two Shiite villages in the northern province of Aleppo.

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