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Sunday, 19 August 2012 - 18:23
UN observers wind up Syria mission
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UN observers wind up their mission in Syria today, after Damascus denied opposition claims that top regime official Vice President Faruq al-Shara had defected as its armed forces pounded rebels in several key flashpoints across the country.

The United Nations won support from the West as well as Russia and China for its new envoy for Syria, veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi who was named on Friday to replace Kofi Annan at the end of the month.

Shara, is the most powerful Sunni Muslim figure in the minority Alawite-led regime of President Bashar al-Assad and has served in top posts for almost 30 years.

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