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Syria says 250 monitors will be enough

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Syria says 250 monitors will be enough


Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al Moualem thinks no more than 250 monitors will be needed for the United Nations observer mission, challenging claims by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that the team would need increased numbers and air support.

New amateur video uploaded on Wednesday purportedly shows Syrian government forces shelling the Al Khalidiya district of Homs as a seven day old ceasefire appears to be holding in the rest of the country.

Syria’s state news agency says at least six government forces were killed in a bomb attack in Idlib province.

Colonel Ahmed Himiche, the head of the UN observer mission to Syria says one of his first jobs is to set up contacts with Syrian rebels. Col. Himiche says the monitors can only begin only visiting the main flashpoints of the uprising once their numbers increase.

“Thank God, the number of our group has increased and there are now seven of us. We are expecting to get more observers by today or tomorrow, until the number reaches thirty, God willing very soon,” he added.

Meanwhile Syrian TV has shown footage of President Bashar al-Assad and his wife being deluged by supporters as they visited an aid distribution centre for displaced residents of Homs.

On Thursday France will host a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the ceasefire in Syria. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to attend.

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