U.N. observers in Syria blocked from site of alleged massacre
United Nations officials said a team of the world body’s observers in Syria was blocked and even shot at Thursday in its efforts to reach the site of an alleged massacre near the central city of Hama.
Opposition activists have alleged that dozens of civilians, including women and children, were killed in the village of Mazraat al-Qubeir. Opposition advocates blamed Syrian government security forces. Syrian authorities denied any responsibility.
U.N. observers said they headed for the scene early Thursday but were turned away. In a statement, the observer mission said both the Syrian military and civilians were impeding access at different points. The observers also said they were told they may be “at risk” if they entered the village.
Elaborating on their statement Thursday before the U.N. General Assembly, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the monitors “were shot at with small arms” while trying to reach the village.
The U.N. team is still trying to reach the site, said the statement by Maj. Gen. Robert Mood of Norway, head of the U.N. observer mission in Syria.
The U.N. mission “is concerned about the restriction imposed on its movement as it will impede our ability to monitor, observe and report,” the general said.
Photo Credit: (latimes.com)