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UN observers tour suburbs of Syrian capital

(Xinhua)

08:38, May 07, 2012

DAMASCUS, May 6 (Xinhua) -- A group of UN monitors headed Sunday to restive suburbs around the Syrian capital of Damascus as part of their mission to bring the 13-month unrest in Syria to a close at a time when the head of armed rebels reportedly said that the UN mission is doomed to failure.

The UN delegation toured Sunday the resort towns of al-Zabadani and Madaya as well as other suburbs around Damascus, witnesses said, adding that another group has been spotted in the town of Dael near southern Daraa province.

On daily bases the 50-member observers tour several areas across Syria, some of them have stationed in most intense provinces such as central Homs and Hama, and northern Idlib.

UN observers arrived in Syria three weeks ago to shore up a cease-fire truce brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan, who set forward a six-point peace plan aiming at bringing the a political end to the Syrian crisis. Annan's plan calls mainly on halting violence from all sides of the conflict to pave the way for a conclusive dialogue between the government and the opposition.

Despite the presence of UN monitors in Syria, violence has notably ramped up, particularly in Damascus and northern Aleppo province, the two economic powerhouses of Syria, which have remained relatively calm during the year-long crisis in Syria, in part because Syrian President Bashar al-Assad still enjoys the support of the business classes and the minority groups, which feel vulnerable in an overwhelmingly Sunni majority.

Assad also enjoys the backing of the military despite some defections from individuals.

Blasts have shaken several areas in Damascus and Aleppo over the past few months. The Syrian government blames the attacks on the armed opposition and al-Qaida fighters, while the latter says the Assad regime is staging the attacks to tarnish the opposition.

The latest bombing took place Saturday, when three blasts rocked several parts of Damascus in separate timing, causing property losses only. Another blast struck a car wash in Aleppo, killing six people, including a woman and her two children.

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