The U.N. Human Rights Council warned Wednesday that the conflict in Syria has changed dramatically in the past three months.
In a 20-page report the council said hostilities by armed anti-government groups have taken on the contours of an insurrection while government forces perpetrate unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and torture.
The report warned that the situation may worsen in coming months unless the international community takes steps to end the violence.
In a related development, The U.N. Action Group for Syria announced it will meet in Geneva Saturday to work out a plan for a cessation of violence.
Special Envoy Kofi Annan said he sent invitations to the foreign ministers of the five permanent Security Council members along with Turkey to attend the session in Geneva, the United Nations reported.
"The objectives of the action group for Syria are to identify steps and measures to secure full implementation of the six-point plan and Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043, including an immediate cessation of violence in all its forms," Annan said in a statement.
The U.N. estimates that more than 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began some 16 months ago.
Seven people were killed in Syria Wednesday when insurgents stormed a television station outside the capital of Damascus, authorities said.
The attack on the satellite broadcaster al-Ikhbaria occurred in the town of Drousha some 14 miles south of Damascus, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported.
The privately owned station is a strong supporter of the government of President Bashar Assad.
On its Web site, SANA showed photographs of what it said were the wrecked studios and quoted Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi as saying the attackers caused "the worst massacre against journalism."
"This massacre won't go unpunished and the broadcast of the Syrian al-Ikhbaria satellite channel will not stop," al-Zoubi said. (c) UPI