UN monitors find tanks, resentful residents in Syria town

By REUTERS
May 5, 2012 19:45

 
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DOUMA, Syria - United Nations ceasefire monitors, in the Syrian town of Douma on Saturday, saw that the army had not withdrawn tanks in line with a truce agreement and were confronted by residents who complained that the UN observers were just "watching us die".

A Reuters team that accompanied a two-car UN convoy saw checkpoints on every street corner and a heavy army presence in Douma, at one time known as a stronghold for the armed opposition but now back under government control.

The town of around 500,000 people near the capital Damascus has been a focus of the 14-month revolt against President Bashar Assad.

At the entrance to the town, soldiers in full army fatigues were posted at a large checkpoint, some positioned behind sandbags. Along the streets, anti-Assad graffiti had been obscured with black paint, but some remained.

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