Ban condemns blast on UN monitor convoy | News | DW | 09.05.2012
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Ban condemns blast on UN monitor convoy

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has condemned an explosion that wounded Syrian soldiers escorting a convoy of UN monitors in the flashpoint town of Daraa, Syria. The blast cast doubt on the observer mission, said Ban.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Wednesday's attack on a convoy with UN monitors cast doubt on the future of the observer mission.

"Such incidents, in addition to the continued violence reported in many cities in Syria, call into question the commitment of the parties to the cessation of violence and may have a direct impact on the future of the mission," Ban said in a statement.

A roadside bomb had hit a military truck and wounded 10 Syrian troops seconds after the vehicles of UN observers, including mission chief Major General Robert Mood, headed into the southern Syrian city of Daraa on Wednesday.

"We were driving behind the UN convoy as protection when a roadside bomb exploded, wounding a first lieutenant and five troops," a soldier who asked to be identified only by his first name, Yahya, told an Associated Press journalist at the scene.

No UN personnel injured

The blast was caused by an explosive device planted in the ground. It apparently detonated after four vehicles in the convoy passed. The wounded soldiers were rushed away.

Watch video 01:14

Blast hits UN convoy in Syria

Reporters who were part of the group said the explosion struck more than 100 meters (330 feet) behind the vehicles. None of the 13 UN personnel were injured.

The Syrian National Council, an opposition group, accused the government of being behind the blast.

"We believe the regime is using these tactics to try to push the observers out amid popular demands to increase their numbers," SNC executive committee member Samir Nashar told the AFP news agency.

About 70 UN observers are currently in Syria to monitor a shaky UN-backed cease-fire agreed by the regime of President Bashar Assad and anti-government rebels.

ncy, ng/ipj (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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