Syrian Officer Killed in Roadside Blast

An army officer was killed and 42 others were injured in a roadside bomb explosion that targeted a military bus Sunday in northern Syria, state-run SANA news agency.

An armed terrorist group targeted a bus carrying a number of army officers on the Raqqa-Aleppo highway in northern Syria, killing one of them and wounding 42 others, three of them in a critical condition.

"Terrorists" are committing more crimes against civilians and law-enforcement agents and smash public and private properties, said SANA, adding that two other explosive devices were dismantled on the spot.

On the opposition side, the activists network, Local Coordination Committees (LCC), said Sunday that Syrian troops have shelled areas in the Douma suburb of Damascus. No casualties have been reported.

The LCC said explosions rattled Douma, some 10 km northwest from the center of Damascus, early Sunday. It said troops stormed several neighborhoods in the restive suburb, which has seen several clashes between government troops and armed rebels.

The latest incidents came just a day after the UN Security Council unanimously decided to approve the deployment to Syria of up to 300 unarmed UN military observers in order to monitor a fragile ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and armed opposition groups.

The cease-fire truce is part of a six-point peace plan brokered by the UN-Arab League joint envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan. The plan, widely backed by the international community, calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.

An advance team of observers is already on the ground in Syria and has been touring several flashpoints.

On Sunday, the team headed to central Hama province. A day earlier they visited central Homs city and two of the observers stationed there.

Witnesses told Xinhua that since the observers stationed in Homs, no gunfire was heard and there was a dramatic drop in violence.


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