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UN team in Syria amid clashes, shelling

world Updated: Apr 29, 2012 22:39 IST

AP
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Syria’s state news agency says U.N. observers are touring an embattled neighborhood in the central city of Homs. SANA said Sunday the observers were visiting Khaldiyeh, an area that has seen heavy government shelling and clashes between Syrian forces and rebels.


Fifteen monitors are now in Syria, struggling to promote a peace plan under which a cease-fire is to lead to talks by all sides on a political solution to the country’s 13-month crisis.

But the plan has been troubled from the start, with regime forces continuing to attack opposition areas, sometimes soon after observer visits. Rebels, too, have attacked military convoys and checkpoints.

More than 9,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar Assad started in March 2011.

Syria derides UN chief Syria has derided UN chief Ban Ki-moon as biased and called his comments "outrageous" after he blamed the regime for widespread cease-fire violations, the latest sign of trouble for an international peace plan many expect to fail.

Activists said regime forces battled army defectors near President Bashar Assad's summer palace in a coastal village and shelled a Damascus suburb in pursuit of gunmen. State media said government troops foiled an attempt by armed men in rubber boats to land on Syria's coast, the first reported attempt by rebels to infiltrate from the sea.