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Syrian death toll rises as mission changes for U.N. monitors

Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 01:20

July 21 - Amateur video appears to show extensive damage and bodies in the town of Tafas as UN Security Council approves a 30-day extension of small unarmed observer mission. Sunita Rappai reports.

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Chaos and carnage in the southern Syrian town of Tafas, near Deraa. Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of this video, obtained from a social media website and reportedly shot on Friday. Oppostiion group, the The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll over the last 48 hours at 550 - making it the bloodiest two days of the 16-month uprising. Meanwhile UN observers begin their journey home after a shift in focus in the UN's monitoring mission. The Security Council unanimously approved a 30-day extension of Kofi Annan's peace plan, which deployed 300 unarmed observers to Syria in April. But after little progress in monitoring the non-existent truce, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has now shifted the emphasis to pursing a political solution. Diplomats say only half of the 300 observers will be needed for this. The rest are returning home - but will be ready to redeploy at short notice If needed. Sunita Rappai REuters

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Syrian death toll rises as mission changes for U.N. monitors

Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 01:20