Sunday, February 25, 2018

Suicide bombing targets Syrian security forces

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Two weeks into a cease-fire agreement, there still was no peace in Syria: Security agents in Damascus collected the remains of 10 people killed in a suicide bombing. Activists reported troops firing on protesters. Video showed a crowd carrying a slain boy to U.N. observers as proof of regime violence.

The head of the United Nations said that Syrian President Bashar Assad's continued crackdown on protests has reached an "intolerable stage" and that the United Nations will try to speed up the deployment of up to 300 monitors to Syria. Only 15 are there now.

Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets across Syria for weekly antiregime marches after Muslim noon prayers Friday. Troops have routinely opened fire on protests since the uprising against Assad began 13 months ago, but there appeared to be fewer violent incidents than in previous weeks. Still, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five protesters were killed.

A plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan proposed an April 12 cease-fire, to be followed by talks between the regime and the opposition. Since that date, the United Nations has said the regime has broken many of its truce promises. Rebel fighters have also kept up attacks on Syrian security forces.

The suicide bomber in Damascus detonated an explosives belt Friday near members of the security forces, killing at least nine people and wounding 26, the state-run news agency SANA reported.

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