The chief of the UN Stabilization Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) says the mission has been suspended due to escalating violence in the country.
General Robert Mood of Norway said Saturday that UNSMIS observers would halt their patrols and remain at their current locations, although he promised that the suspension would be reviewed on a daily basis and stressed that the mission remained committed to bringing an end to the violence in Syria, the BBC reported.
According to Sky News, hundreds of people – civilians as well as rebel and government forces – have been killed since international envoy Kofi Annan launched his six-point peace plan two months ago. Last week UN observers tasked with monitoring the implementation of the plan were shot at it after their convoy was forced to turn back from the town of Haffa by supporters of President Bashar al-Assad.
On May 15 monitors’ cars were damaged by a roadside bomb shortly after they had met with rebel forces in the town of Khan Sheikoun, while a week earlier a similar device struck a government military truck in southern Syria moments after Mood passed by in a convoy, the Associated Press reported.
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More than 10,000 people have died since an anti-Assad uprising broke out last March, according to the United Nations. As Mood announced the suspension of UNSMIS on Saturday the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 31 people had been killed across Syria in government shelling of rebel areas near the capital, Damascus, and the central city of Homs, according to the Agence France Presse.
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