AFP
Last updated: 12 June, 2012

UN monitors blocked from reaching Syria’s Al-Haffe

Pro-Syrian regime villagers on Tuesday prevented United Nations observers from reaching the town of Al-Haffe where there are fears of a new massacre, a watchdog said.

“Residents of the pro-regime village of As-Sheer blocked the road and prevented the UN observer team from reaching Al-Haffe,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group said the monitors proceeded to look for another route to the town in the northwestern province of Latakia.

It added that government forces were shelling Al-Haffe and nearby villages with dozens of people reportedly wounded, some of them critically.

A local activist reached by AFP via Skype said residents of As-Sheer, located on the road to Al-Haffe, threw stones at the UN vehicles forcing them to turn back.

“The monitors were on their way, but while crossing As-Sheer, residents threw stones at them and forced them to turn around,” Abu Mohammed said.

“We asked the monitors to tell this to the media, but they said they did not want to,” he added.

Syrian state television for its part reported that the UN vehicles had run over three residents near Latakia who were trying to explain to the observers the suffering they were being subjected to by “armed terrorist groups.”