domingo, 24 de febrero de 2013

Bombs welcome new UN chief monitor in Syria

The head of the new UN observer team is starting his work in Syria amid sporadic violence. On Monday, twin suicide bombers killed at least nine people and wounded nearly a hundred, fuelling doubts over how long the shaky ceasefire can hold. The two suicide attackers set off explosive-rigged cars near a state intelligence compound in the north-western city of Idlib, the Syrian state media reported. They killed at least nine and wounded almost 100 people, including security officers and civilians. The Britain-based human rights organization Syrian Observatory puts the death toll higher, saying more than 20 people have been killed. Pro-government al-Ekhbariya TV aired grizzly footage of the aftermath, showing smashed cars, debris and blood stains on the pavement. The explosions tore the facade off of a multi-storey building and damaged four others. Debris was sent flying hundreds of meters. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the act. The media blamed "armed terrorists", but the term is routinely used by the Syrian government to describe any armed opposition group. The new act of violence comes as Norwegian Major General Robert Mood is paving the way for a full 300-strong monitoring team, which is to be deployed in the coming months. The 52-year-old veteran peacemaker, who takes over the UN Mission in Syria, is no stranger to Damascus. Between 2009 and 2011 he headed the UN Truce Supervision Organization, which monitors Middle East cease-fires, and visited Syria <b>...</b>
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