U.N. observers caught up in Syria violence

BEIRUT: At least 21 people were killed Tuesday in an attack in northern Syria, activists said, and members of a team of U.N. monitors caught in the battle said they were left in rebel hands.

Reuters asked one of the four monitors by phone if they were being held prisoner. He did not reply. Another said: “We are safe with the [rebel] Free Army.”

A spokesman for the rebel military council said the rebels were working on a safe exit for them.

“They are now with the Free Army which is protecting them. If they leave, the regime will terminate them because they have witnessed one of its crimes and it does not want them to tell the truth,” he told Reuters.

Insurgents and pro-government media blamed each other for the attack in Khan Sheikhoun in northern Idlib province.

The monitor told Reuters gunfire had erupted as a seven-man U.N. team toured Khan Sheikhoun, then a blast damaged one of the group’s vehicles.

Other rebel and opposition sources put the death toll from the attack as high as 66.

Pro-government Addounia TV said “gunmen” had opened fire on the monitors, without reference to casualties.

Internet footage appeared to show a white vehicle like those used by monitors with damage to its front end. In Damascus, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, the head of the U.N. monitoring mission, told reporters the team was safe, without elaborating.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/May-16/173538-un-observers-caught-up-in-syria-violence.ashx#ixzz1v0JwNLlE
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

FSA fighters celebrate after destroying a government armoured personnel carrier on the outskirts of Rastan, Homs

Leave a Reply