Arab observers attacked in Damascus

2012-01-06 09:02

A team of Arab observers had to leave an area of the Damascus suburbs after random shooting by Syrian security forces.

Al Arabiya television reported today that the team arrived in the area yesterday afternoon.

At some point, they were encircled by people in the Arbeen district.

After a few hours, the team had to leave hastily, after government forces began to shoot at the crowd, the broadcaster added.

The Arab League observer mission is tasked with overseeing an end to Syria’s 10-month crackdown on peaceful protesters.

It has been facing increasing local and international criticism for failing to implement the peace plan, which calls on the government to pull soldiers from residential areas, open talks with the opposition and release all political prisoners.

In the early hours today, two people were killed.

In the Damascus suburb of Zabadany, a man was killed by random gunfire by security personnel as he was trying to cross the street.

A 36 year-old man was shot dead by a sniper while he was standing on the balcony of his house in the central restive city of Homs.

The United Nations estimates that more than 5 000 people have been killed in the Syrian government’s clampdown upon protesters demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

About 30 people were killed by government forces on Thursday, opposition activists said.

The head of the Arab observer mission, Sudanese General Mustafa Mohamed al-Dabi, is expected to arrive in Cairo on Saturday to take part in a meeting of the ministerial committee on Syria to discuss the mission’s first report.

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