Fresh killings hours after new UN truce call in Syria
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
An anti-Syrian regime mourner shouts slogans during the funeral procession of an activist in Damascus.Ten civilians killed by regime mortar fire and 12 troops died in clashes with rebels were among 26 dead in Syria yesterday just hours after a new U.N. call for all sides to respect a troubled truce.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said it was vital that government and opposition alike cooperate fully with a hard-won U.N. observer force as it fans out in its mission to shore up the ceasefire agreement that took effect on April 12. But despite his appeal, human rights monitors reported no let-up in the violence, a day after a series of blasts condemned by Ban as “terrorist bomb attacks” killed more than 20 people.
Over 34 children killed since truce: UN
Nine members of a single family were among the 10 killed in the regime bombardment of a village in northwestern Idlib province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A mortar round slammed into their home in Mashmashan village near the town of Jisr al-Shughur, the watchdog said, adding four women and two children were among the dead. Elsewhere in the same province, random gunfire killed a 13-year-old boy in the town of Maaret al-Numan. In Deir Ezzor province in the northeast, 12 soldiers were killed in clashes with rebel fighters, said the watchdog.Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict, said more than 34 children have allegedly been killed in Syria since a shaky truce, Reuters reported. Ban called on all sides to work with the U.N observer mission as it expands from the current advance party of 30 to a promised full complement of 300 in the coming days and weeks.
“While noting improvements in areas where U.N. monitors are deployed, the secretary general remains gravely concerned by reports of continued violence, killing and abuses in Syria in recent days,” a statement said, according to Agence France-Presse. He called “for armed violence in all its forms by all parties to cease immediately and full cooperation of all parties with the work of U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria as it expands its presence on the ground.”
Two observers are already deployed in Idlib. There are none in Deir Ezzor. Two observers each have been deployed in three other protest centers, the flashpoint central cities of Hama and Homs, and Daraa province, south of Damascus. The other 22 remain based in the capital.