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Arab body calls for pullout of monitors in Syria

The call came as the League prepared to send yet more monitors to Syria.



Damascus: An Arab League advisory body called on Sunday for the immediate withdrawal of the bloc`s observers
from Syria saying their presence was having no impact on the
government`s deadly crackdown on protests.

The call came as the League prepared to send yet more
monitors to Syria, after pro-democracy protesters saw the New
Year in with demonstrations and a child reportedly became the
first fatality of 2012.

The speaker of the Arab Parliament, Salem al-Diqbassi,
urged Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi to "immediately pull
out the Arab observers, considering the continued killing of
innocent civilians by the Syrian regime."

The Arab Parliament is an 88-member advisory committee
made up of lawmakers from each of the League`s 22 member
nations.

Damascus`s actions are "a clear violation of the Arab
League protocol which is to protect the Syrian people,"
Diqbassi said in a statement.

"We are seeing an increase in violence, more people
are being killed including children ... and all this in the
presence of Arab League monitors, which has angered the Arab
people," he said.

Diqbassi`s comments came as the League prepares to
send a new team to Syria on Thursday.

"Around 20 more observers will head to Damascus from
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Tunisia," said Adnan al-Khodeir, the
League`s Syria operations chief.

Fifty observers arrived on Monday as part of an Arab
deal endorsed by Syria, which calls for the withdrawal of the
military from towns and residential districts, a halt to
violence against civilians and the release of detainees.

The monitors are on a month-long mission that kicked
off December 26.

Arab League monitors toured several protest hot sports
on Sunday, official media said, as a dispute emerged after one
observer reportedly accused authorities of posting snipers on
rooftops and demanded they be removed.

On Sunday, a seven-year-old boy was killed when his
father`s car came under a hail of bullets, the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said.

PTI

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