WORLD

Arab League rejects Syrian demand to change peace plan

CAIRO – The Arab League has rejected a demand by Syria to alter its plan for ending the country’s conflict, which has reportedly left at least 3,500 dead, BBC reports.

It dismissed Syria’s demand to amend its proposal for a 500-strong observer mission to be sent to the country.

The Arab League’s deadline for Syria to end its crackdown passed overnight with no sign of violence abating.

President Bashar al-Assad has said his country will not bow to “pressure” and predicted the conflict would continue. Speaking to the UK’s Sunday Times, he said the unity and stability of Syria were at stake.

The Arab League plan, seen by the world as the best hope for resolving the conflict peacefully, seems to have crashed in flames, the BBC’s Jim Muir reports.

On Sunday, there were reports of a grenade attack on a building of the ruling party in the capital Damascus. If confirmed, it would be the first such attack reported inside the capital since the uprising began in March. It was claimed by the Free Syrian Army, a group of military defectors.

At least 27 people were killed on Saturday, according to opposition activists, including four government intelligence agents whose car was ambushed in Hama by gunmen believed to be army defectors.

Foreign journalists are unable to move around Syria freely, making it difficult to verify reports.

The Arab League’s plan has been the focus of efforts to find a diplomatic solution and comes as key international players such as Russia and the US warned of the danger of civil war in Syria.

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