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Thursday
Apr192012

UN Monitors Watch Syrian Troops Fire on Demonstrators

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- United Nations observers got a first-hand look at just how tenuous the week-long ceasefire in Syria actually is when they saw demonstrators get fired upon by Syrian forces on Wednesday.

The monitors were in the city of Arbeen, not far from Damascus, when Syrian troops started shooting at demonstrators who had gathered at a mosque to greet the visitors sent to measure the progress of the ceasefire.

A video taken of the incident shows people scattering while the sound of gunfire can be clearly heard.

One protester said that after he and others had surrounded the U.N. cars to shout anti-government slogans, the troops first lobbed tear gas and as the vehicle started driving away, the soldiers began shooting.

There were some reports of people being wounded in the incident but the U.N. monitors apparently escaped any harm.

All this comes as Damascus and U.N. representatives are close to signing a pact that would allow 250 monitors into Syria with some restrictions.

The ceasefire is meant to slow down the violence that some human right groups claim has cost more than 11,000 lives over the past 13 months as President Bashar al-Assad continues efforts to crush all political opposition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio