Syrian pro-government forces have carried out at least 82 execution-style killings of civilians in recent days, including women and children, the UN said Tuesday, citing credible reports from the ground.
The United Nations human rights office said it had received reports of "pro-government forces killing at least 82 civilians including 11 women and 13 children in four different neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo," spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.
He added their could be "many more", and voiced deep fear of retribution against thousands of civilians still believed to be holed up in a "hellish corner" of less than a square kilometre of opposition-held areas.
He said the atrocities were committed in recent days, "most likely" in the last 48 hours, and that his office had the names of the victims.
"Yesterday evening we received further deeply disturbing reports that numerous bodies were lying in the streets, but residents were unable to retrieve them due to the intense bombardment and their fear of being shot on site."
"The reports we had are of people being shot in the street trying to flee and shot in their homes."
Mr Colville said the Syrian government must protect the right to life of all civilians and fighters who surrender, lay down their arms or are otherwise out of combat.
Jens Laerke, UN humanitarian spokesman said that it looked like "a complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo".