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MIDEAST > Kidnapped or rescued? UN monitors meet Syria rebels

DAMASCUS/BEIRUT

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UN team, led by Norway’s Maj Gen Moo, spent a night with rebels. REUTERS photo

UN team, led by Norway’s Maj Gen Moo, spent a night with rebels. REUTERS photo

Syrian rebels delivered six U.N. ceasefire monitors caught up in attack that killed at least 21 civilians to U.N. colleagues yesterday, a rebel commander said.

“We gave the six with their cars to a U.N. convoy near the entrance of Khan Sheikhoun. They are all safe, in good heath and on their way to Damascus,” Free Syrian Army commander Abu Hassan said by satellite phone from the site of the handover. A roadside bomb struck the team’s vehicles on May 15 in a town in the northwestern province of Idlib, Khan Sheikhoun. One monitor said: “We are safe with the [rebel] Free Army.“

“The monitors who spent the night with us in Khan Sheikhun were from Yemen, Brazil, Bangladesh, Denmark, Morocco and Holland,” said activists. At least 10 people were killed across the country yesterday, said activists while putting the toll of May 15 to 64.

Lebanon clashes renewed

At least four people were wounded yesterday in clashes between the army and residents of two areas of Lebanon’s city of Tripoli supporting opposite sides in the crisis in neighboring Syria, a security official said. The official said shooting broke out after soldiers tried to remove barricades in the northern port city’s sensitive and mainly Sunni Muslim neighborhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh. The clashes escalated with residents of Jabal Mohsen, which sits opposite Bab al-Tebbaneh, also opening fire. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told a Russian state news channel Rossiya-24 later yesterday that his country supports his reform agenda.He said parliamentary elections on May 7 show that Syrians “up to this time support the course of reform.” Meanwhile, a prominent dissident, Fawaz Tello, resigned from the Syrian National Council on May 14, after the re-election Burhan Ghalioun as SNC leader for three more months.

Compiled from AFP, Reuters and AP stories by the Daily News staff.

League delays Syria meet in Cairo

CAIRO – Reuters

The Arab League has postponed a Syrian opposition meeting it was due to host in Cairo yesterday and today in response to a request from Syrian opposition groups, the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Body, the Arab League said in a statement on May 14.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said yesterday “Plans for a conference in Cairo to unite Syria’s opposition failed,” via his Twitter account. “So what are their common goals? Isn’t it an evidence of their disunity?” he added. Turkey was expected to attend the canceled meeting.


May/17/2012

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