Syria: UN observers evacuated after bomb hits convoy


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The Independent Online

A team of international observers has been evacuated from a town in northern Syria after their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb.

The blast occurred on Tuesday in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. None of the observers was wounded, but they had to spend the night with rebel forces in the area. Maj-Gen Robert Mood, head of the United Nations team, said he had spoken by telephone with the observers in Khan Sheikhoun, who told him that they were "happy and safe".

The attack, which came minutes after witnesses said regime forces had gunned down mourners at a funeral procession nearby, dealt a fresh blow to the peace plan proposed by the international envoy Kofi Annan and to efforts by the UN to monitor compliance with a troubled ceasefire agreement.

Activists said the violence continued yesterday, with regime forces opening fire from the outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun.

More than 200 UN observers have been deployed throughout Syria to monitor the ceasefire agreement.