Blast near UN convoy in Syria, monitors safe

The bomb went off just seconds after a convoy carrying the head of the UN observer mission passed by.

Zeenews Bureau

Damascus: A roadside bomb explosion on Wednesday hit a Syrian military truck that was plying just behind a UN convoy carrying peace mission observers.

Though the UN monitors escaped the blast and are reportedly safe, eight Syrian troops , including a Lieutenant, who were in the military truck for protection of monitors, have been killed.

A reporter who was travelling in the UN convoy said the blast cracked the military truck`s windows and caused a plume of black smoke.

Witnesses said that the blast was meant to hit the security vehicle escorting the UN convoy. The UN monitors examined the truck after the blast and left the scene.

Chief of UN mission in Syria Major General Robert Mood too was travelling in the same convoy and said that the attack was "a graphic experience that the Syrian people live with every day”.

"We were driving behind the UN convoy as protection when a roadside bomb exploded, wounding a 1st Lieutenant and five troops," a soldier who asked to be identified only by his first name, Yahya, said at the scene.

It`s not clear who was behind the blast.

But Syria`s rebel leader, Col Riad al-Assad, threatened to resume attacks because the government has not honoured a cease-fire, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported today. Al-Assad told the paper that "our people are demanding that we defend them."

The International committee of the Red Cross on Tuesday described the fighting in Syria as an "armed conflict."

The Syrian government says the 14-month unrest in Syria is the work of armed groups backed by foreign plot rather than popular will.

The UN monitors are deployed in Syria since April as a part of joint UN-Arab League peace deal brokered by Kofi Annan.

In spite of the monitors` presence, Syrian violence has not been diminshed and incidents like blasts, and murders keep on erupting.

Deraa, where the blast took place is where the uprising against Assad began in March last year.

With agencies’ inputs