UN Monitors Safe After Being Saved by Syrian Rebels (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 05/17/12)
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Six UN observers had to be evacuated from a northern Syrian town
controlled by the opposition Wednesday, a day after a roadside bomb
hit their convoy and left them stranded overnight with rebel forces.
The Associated Press reported that none of the observers was wounded
and it was not clear who was behind the attack.
According to Ahmad Fawzi, spokesman for international envoy Kofi
Annan, the explosion was preceded by shooting which started as the
convoy of observers arrived in the opposition area in the town of
“The UN observers were in their cars and heard the shooting but did
not witness anyone being killed, nor could they ascertain the
direction of the fire,” Fawzi told AP. “At the same time, the bomb
exploded near one of the vehicles, damaging the hood.”
Fawzi said people who had gathered around the observers ducked behind
the vehicles, and according to one observer apparently some people
were injured when the bomb exploded.
When the shooting subsided, he said, the observers left their
vehicles and proceeded on foot to a Free Syrian Army location where
they spent the night.
The UN said the team was treated well during their stay with rebels
and returned to their base in Hama on Wednesday.
The presence of United Nations observers in Syria has done little to
stem the violence in the country, as the uprising against President
Bashar Assad continues. An agreement signed with Assad by Annan has
had little more effect than an earlier deal signed with the Arab
Annan’s peace plan a “ceasefire” that began on April 12, but neither
side has ended the firing.
In his first interview since December, Assad insisted on Wednesday
his regime is fighting back against foreign mercenaries who want to
overthrow him and not innocent Syrians aspiring for democracy.
“There are foreign mercenaries, some of them still alive,” Assad told
the Russian state news channelRossiya-24. “They are being detained
and we are preparing to show them to the world.” (IsraelNationalNews
© 2012 05/17/12)
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