Syria bombers want to foil U.N. mission: Arab League

CAIRO – The Arab League chief said Thursday’s suicide bombings that killed 55 people in Damascus were intended to undercut a U.N. mission to monitor a Syria truce brokered by envoy Kofi Annan.

Nabil Elaraby said those behind the attacks, the deadliest since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 14 months ago, sought to sabotage the work of the U.N. observers sent to verify a much-violated ceasefire declared on April 12.

Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby arrives for the opening meeting of Arab League foreign ministers at the league's headquarters in Cairo April 26, 2012.

“This shouldn’t be ignored and carries dangerous implications for the future of Kofi Annan’s mission,” he said in a statement.

The U.N.-Arab League envoy is struggling to keep alive his six-point peace plan and avert full-scale civil war in Syria. He has said the government has yet to implement the agreement properly, while opposition forces have also broken the truce.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday 849 people – 628 civilians and 221 soldiers, of whom 31 were defectors – had been killed since the truce was declared, not including those who died in the latest Damascus bombings.

The Arab League sent its own monitors to Syria late last year to check compliance with an earlier peace plan, but withdrew them in January when violence intensified.

Source: Reuters

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