BEIRUT - A large explosion hit cars accompanying United Nations ceasefire monitors in the southern Syrian province of Deraa on Wednesday, injuring eight Syrian guards, a pro-government news channel said.

Major General Robert Mood, the head of the UN monitors, was in the team's convoy but there were no reports of any of the observers being wounded. Addounia television said the explosion damaged cars, including one belonging to Syrian state media.

Addounia quoted Mood as saying at a press conference in Deraa that the explosion, which happened in front of the monitors, was one example of what is happening everywhere in Syria. Mood had visited the wounded in hospital and would draft a report, it said.

On April 21, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers to Syria for three months to help bolster a ceasefire agreement that both sides are accused of ignoring.

About 9,000 people have been killed by Syrian forces, the UN says, and Damascus claims insurgents have killed 2,600 police and security force personnel.

Fifty UN observers are now in Syria and, despite their presence, activists report that dozens of people are killed almost every day and there has been a recent spate of bombings targeting state security.

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