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Soldiers, civilians killed as violence continues to sweep Syria despite UN cease-fire monitor presence.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian activists reported Tuesday that 23 people were killed in violence, both civilians and soldiers, in the eastern province of Deir el Zour and also in the north near Idlib, Reuters wrote.
Of the total, "nine members of one family died in mortar bomb blasts in a village" near Idlib.
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The Associated Press reported on a video that shows a man from Mishmishan, the Idlib village, pointing to corpses and wounded family members. "'That's my son!' he says, pointing to a wounded boy with white bandages on his legs, arms and back. 'That's my brother and that's my nephew!' he says, pointing to a body on the floor in a pool of blood and another on a gurney," wrote the news wire.
12 soldiers were killed in clashes in the east, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The spasm of violence in Mishmishan "highlights the huge challenge facing a 16-person U.N. team that is trying to monitor the truce in a country slightly larger than North Dakota, where violence is widespread and often in relatively isolated areas," the AP wrote.
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The number of UN monitors is expected to eventually reach 300, but The New York Times points out that the number is much less than failed observer missions in other countries. In Kosovo, which is a small fraction of the size of Syria both geographically and in population, 2,000 observers were not able to stem the bloodshed.
In a Tuesday press conference, United Nations head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous called the continuing violence "appalling" said peacekeepers have seen "Howitzer guns, armored personnel carriers and other weaponry in cities," according to Agence France Presse.
Reuters wrote that an unnamed Western diplomat expects the current 24 observers in Syria will rise to 100 by the end of next week.