UN Monitors Dispute Syrian Rebel Claims of Police Killings

Rebels Kidnap Lebanese Pilgrims in Northern Syria

Violence in Syria is continuing today, with rebels from an unknown faction kidnapping a number of Shi’ite Lebanese pilgrims (either 11 or 13 depending on the source). The Free Syrian Army denied any role in the kidnapping, while speculating that the regime probably did it.

Sunni militant factions linked with the rebels have repeatedly attacked Shi’ite targets across the nation, accusing them of being in league with the Assad regime. President Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ism.

Meanwhile, the rebels claimed Syrian police shot and killed two demonstrators at a rally to meet a UN monitor team in Deir al-Zor. The claim was immediately disputed by the monitors, who said they heard some gunfire but it didn’t appear anyone was actually shot.

A different UN convoy did come under attack in Homs, according to reports from a Syrian TV station. There were no injuries but the footage showed a damaged UN vehicle. This would be the fifth attack against UN monitors since last month, including one in which the Free Syrian Army captured several monitors, claiming it was “for their own protection.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.