Blast injures Syrian troops as UN observers pass by
BEIRUT -- A Syrian military truck was struck by a roadside bomb in Dara province Wednesday, injuring six soldiers, just seconds after a United Nations convoy had passed by, the Associated Press reported.
The U.N. convoy, which was carrying the head of the monitoring mission, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood of Norway, was not hit.
The attack was "a graphic experience that the Syrian people live with every day," Mood told reporters, according to the news service, which had a reporter traveling with the convoy. The observers' work in Syria will continue as usual, Mood said.
The AP reporter said the explosion blew out the military truck's windows and caused a plume of black smoke.
"We were driving behind the U.N. convoy as protection when a roadside bomb exploded, wounding a first lieutenant and five troops," Yahya, a soldier who asked to be identified only by his first name, said at the scene.
Mood, along with other monitors and journalists, was visiting the city of Dara, where the Syrian uprising against President Bashar Assad was first sparked in March 2011.
As in previous bombings across Syria, it was not clear who was behind the attack. The regime and the opposition often trade blame.
The attack came a day after U.N. envoy Kofi Annan briefed the Security Council on the situation in Syria and warned that it could descend into civil war. The peace plan that he proposed and both sides agreed to remains the final opportunity to stabilize the country, Annan said.
He said that violations of the cease-fire and peace plan continue, including a worrying spate of recent bombings.
-- Times staff
Photo: An injured Syrian army soldier walks next to his comrade after a roadside bomb hit their military truck Wednesday in Dara. Credit: Muzaffar Salman / Associated Press