May 5 - Observers monitoring a shaky U.N.-backed ceasefire check heavy weaponry, talk to Syrian army soldiers and residents in a field visit. Sunita Rappai reports.
U.N. observers head to the Damascus suburb of Douma in Syria to monitor the UN-backed ceasefire. The ceasefire brokered by U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan was agreed between Syrian government forces and rebels three weeks ago - but has been dogged by reports of ongoing violence. Monitors crossed check points to talk to residents and Syrian army soldiers and examine tanks in different locations. This soldier says that the situation is peaceful in the mornings but at night there are attacks by armed groups. A U.N. mission this week accused both pro- and anti-Assad forces of violating the truce, and said more than 30 children had been killed since the ceasefire. The U.N. also reports more than 9,000 people have died during President Bashar Al Assad's crackdown over 13 months of unrest. In repsonse, the Syrian government says it has lost at least 2,600 of its forces to 'foreign-backed terrorists". Sunita Rappai, Reuters