Violence persists in Syria despite UN monitored truce

   May 6, 11:37 am

Damascus (Syria), May 6 (Xinhua-ANI): Violence persisted on Saturday in this capital city of Syria and northern Aleppo province despite a UN monitored ceasefire, leaving nine people dead and several others injured.

Damascus and Aleppo have witnessed many suicide bombings recently. A car explosion hit the capital suburb of Daf al-Shouk on Saturday night, leaving two dead and five people injured.

In Aleppo, a car rigged with explosives went off earlier on Saturday, killing six people, including a woman and her two children. Meanwhile, a lieutenant colonel physician was killed in a drive-by shooting, state media reported.

In Damascus, a roadside bomb was detonated Saturday morning in the suburb of Joubar, causing some damage.

Another blast struck the heart of Damascus on the same day, when two explosive devices planted under a military pickup truck went off at al-Khuja market near a military food cooperative, damaging nine cars.

Also in Damascus, the government troops on Saturday used tear gas to disperse thousands of people who attended a mass funeral as the string of blasts rocked Damascus and Aleppo.

The latest violence happened when the UN observers in Syria toured the Damascus's suburbs of Douma and Harasta, two of the most intense areas that have witnessed severe clashes between armed rebels and government troops.

On Friday, Gen. Robert Mood, head of the UN observer mission to Syria, visited the coastal city of Latakia and northern Idlib province and called on all parties in Syria to cooperate to restore security and stability.

He said everybody can help Syria move from violence to peace and avoid violent assassination operations, calling on the international bodies inside and outside Syria to help achieve this goal.

Meanwhile, Yasser al-Shoufi, governor of Idlib province, said that terrorist groups were violating the ceasefire and taking advantage of the presence of observers to commit heinous crimes and terrify citizens.

The observers have been dispatched to hotspots across Syria in central Hama, Homs, northern Idlib, and southern Daraa provinces.

They arrived two weeks ago to monitor the UN-backed ceasefire, part of a six-point plan put forward by UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan that went into effect on April 12.

However, despite their presence, the violence has not abated effectively with daily reports of killings, kidnappings and bombings.

Also on Saturday, the government freed 265 detainees "involved" in the popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since last March, the state news agency SANA reported.

The release, as a requisite of the six-point peace plan, came two days before a scheduled parliamentary election in Syria.

According to SANA, at least 4,000 detainees have been freed since November. (Xinhua-ANI)

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