Bombings in Damascus Draw Condemnation

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Two strong explosions in Syrian capital in Damascus killed and wounded dozens of people.

Reports say blasts occurred in the vicinity of what is reported to be a military intelligence building.

The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis Kofi Annan today expressed condemnation “in the strongest possible terms” the attacks that took in Damascus.

“These abhorrent acts are unacceptable and the violence in Syria must stop.” – Mr. Annan’s spokesperson

Joint UNArab League Special Envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan (at podium), speaks to the press in Geneva, Switzerland, following his briefing to the Security Council this morning. UN Photo/Violaine MartinJoint UNArab League Special Envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan (at podium), speaks to the press in Geneva, Switzerland, following his briefing to the Security Council this morning. UN Photo/Violaine Martin.
Joint UNArab League Special Envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan (at podium), speaks to the press in Geneva, Switzerland, following his briefing to the Security Council this morning. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

Mr. Annan said he is saddened by the loss of life resulting from the two blasts and extends his condolences to the families of the victims.

The Joint Special Envoy reiterated his call to all parties to adhere to an agreed cessation of violence.

Mr. Annan said any action that serves to escalate tensions and raise the level of violence can only be counter-productive to the interests of all parties.

Annan calls on all parties to avoid further bloodshed and to protect civilians.

On Wednesday, at least six soldiers were wounded as a bomb hit UN Observer Convoy while entering the city of Dara’a.

Reports say the roadside bomb exploded after the passage of four vehicles carrying the UN team, hitting the troops traveling behind them.

UN Spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi reported that there were no casualties among the observers, but several Syrian soldiers were injured and taken to hospital.

Major General Robert Mood (centre), Chief Military Observer and Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), meets with members of the opposition in Al-Rastan, a town in Syria’s Homs province. UN Photo

The Security Council has authorized the establishment of a United Nations observer mission to Syria, for an initial period 90 days.

In a unanimous decision, Council members passed a resolution calling for the formation of the “United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component.”

The UNSMIS is tasked with monitoring the cessation of violence in Syria and supporting the full implementation of a six-point plan put forward by Mr. Kofi Annan.

On 27th of March 27, Mr. Annan reported that the Syrian government had accepted the six point-plan and pledged to implement it.

According to report, below is the the six-point plan which asks the Syrian authorities to:

(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people

(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians

(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause

(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained

(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;

(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 9,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.