Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Syria rebels kill 7, bomb explodes near U.N. monitors

(Reuters) - Syrian rebels killed at least seven pro-government militiamen in a Damascus suburb on Wednesday, activists said, and a large explosion hit a convoy accompanying United Nations ceasefire observers in the southern province of Deraa.

The Damascus attack with rocket-propelled grenades on a bus carrying the fighters through the suburb of Irbin prompted the army to seal off the area and respond with shelling, activist Mohammad Saeed said.

The sustained violence, nearly four weeks after a ceasefire deal was brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan, has led to warnings this week from the Red Cross, Arab League and Annan himself that Syria is slipping into civil war.

Annan's ceasefire deal was part of a wider plan aimed at ending 14 months of turmoil since protests erupted in March last year against President Bashar al-Assad. The demonstrations have now been overshadowed by an increasingly armed rebellion. Read More