Gunfire in Central Syria Following Tuesday’s Mass Shootings

Posted May 16th, 2012 at 5:25 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian activists have reported fresh gunfire on Wednesday in the same region of Hama where at least 20 mourners were shot and killed on Tuesday shortly before a roadside bomb exploded near U.N. observers.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights tells VOA the gunfire erupted in the central Khan Sheikhoun region, but it is unclear who is firing the shots.

The London-based group also says at least three people were killed after security forces opened fire on a Daraa province refugee camp.

Meanwhile, some U.N. monitors spent the night under rebel protection in Khan Sheikhoun after at least one of their vehicles was damaged in Tuesday's blast.

The monitors are part of a larger group of U.N. observers who have fanned out across the country to assess the government and the opposition's compliance to a fragile cease-fire brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan.

The head of the observer mission, Major General Robert Mood, says the monitors in Khan Sheikhoun are safe and should be evacuated on Wednesday.

The United Nations says more than 9,000 people have been killed in violence related to the anti-government uprising that erupted more than a year ago. The Syrian government has blamed armed terrorist groups for much of the country's unrest.