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UN observers enter carnage-hit village in central Syria

(Xinhua)

11:06, June 09, 2012

DAMASCUS, June 8 (Xinhua) -- A group of UN observers managed Friday to enter a restive village in central Syria that witnessed a massacre two days ago, the observers' spokesperson told Xinhua.

The observers' entry came after facing a number of impediments from the government and local residents of the Mazraat al-Qubair village in central Hama province, which witnessed Wednesday the death of a number of people, including women and children.

"The village was empty when we first set foot in," Sausan Ghosheh told Xinhua by phone after managing to get into the village Friday.

She said the smell of death was everywhere, adding that a number of bodies were found. Ghosheh, however, stopped short of confirming the number of the casualties.

The spokesperson said that a team of observers will stay at the village to continue investigation, and that their entry was granted by army forces and residents.

A day earlier, Ghosheh said that a group of UN observers tasked with examining the massacre in Hama had been blocked from entering the site.

Syria's state TV said early Thursday that armed groups committed a massacre and killed nine people in a village in Hama on Wednesday.

Citing an unnamed source, the TV denied as "categorically baseless" media reports claiming that the government troops' shelling had killed more than 80 people in the village.

The broadcaster said that the massacre was designed to tarnish and frame the Syrian administration a night before a scheduled meeting of the UN Security Council.

The massacre is the second in a week to rattle Syria. Last week, a massacre occurred in the central village of Houla in Homs province, claiming the lives of more than 100 people. The government and the opposition have been trading barbs over the carnage.

Meanwhile on Friday, another team of observers visited the Damascus' suburb of Qudsiah, where a car bomb was detonated at early time of the day, killing two law-enforcement forces and injuring others.

The blast caused damages to nearby cars and buildings.

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