Ban voices concern over escalating violence, bloodshed in Syria

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Syrian protesters

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed grave concern at the escalating violence in Syria, as Friday's bomb blasts in the capital Damascus claimed more lives.

Forty people were killed and scores injured in the explosions, according to media reports.

An advance team of observers sent by the Arab League to assess the situation, will leave for Syria on Monday.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, had this to say about the mission…

"The members of the Security Council welcomed the commencement of the deployment of the League of Arab States Observer mission to Syria following the signing on December 19 on the Legal Status and objectives of the mission. The members of the Security Council commended the efforts of the countries which are going to provide their observers at the disposal of the mission. The members of the Security Council attach a great importance to task of the mission, which is to play a vital role in bringing an end to violence, and call on everybody concerned to show maximum restraint and do everything in their power to ensure the success of the mission."

The Russian Ambassador also announced that his country had prepared an updated draft resolution on the crisis in Syria.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the unrest, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Duration: 38″

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