Syria shelling continued
Photo: MCT

Report: German ship halted with weapons for Syria

German ship stopped after owners discover it's carrying Iranian weapons to Syria regime; Meanwhile, Syrian security forces continued to pound cities

Germany's government said Saturday it is looking into a report that weapons bound for the Syrian regime were loaded onto a German-owned ship.


German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the Atlantic Cruiser was halted in the Mediterranean after its owners were warned it was suspected to be carrying Iranian military equipment to Tartus, Syria, where it was supposed to arrive Friday.


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Der Spiegel quoted shipping agent Torsten Lueddeke of Hamburg-based CEG Bulk Chartering as saying: "We stopped the ship after we received information on the weapons cargo."


He said the ship had been chartered to an Odessa, Ukraine-based company called White Whale Shipping and "they declared to us as cargo above all pumps and things like that," according to the report. "We would never have allowed weapons on board."


The ship's current whereabouts weren't clear. Der Spiegel – which reported that the suspect cargo was loaded in Djibouti – said it had changed course for Iskenderun, Turkey, on Friday and then stopped about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Tartus and sailed in circles.


Syria violence continues

Meanwhile, Syrian troops shelled two rebel-held neighborhoods in the central city of Homs on in an apparent violation of an internationally brokered ceasefire, activists said.


The reported bombardment came as the United Nations Security Council prepared to vote on a resolution authorizing the deployment of the first wave of UN military observers to monitor the ceasefire between the Syrian government and opposition fighters.


Since the truce brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan came into effect, far fewer deaths have been reported than from the daily norm of clashes and shelling before the truce.


The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the shelling on Saturday morning in Homs lasted for about an hour and there were no reports of casualties. It said another wave of mortar rounds hit the neighborhoods later in the day.


A video posted by activist online said to be taken in Homs showed shells landing in a heavily damaged street.


The Local Coordination Committees activist group said troops fired live bullets and tear gas at a funeral in the northern city of Aleppo. It had no word on casualties. The Observatory said three people were wounded in the shooting at the funeral.


Also, troops were conducting a wave of arrests in the Damascus suburb of Dumair when a car exploded killing one civilian and wounding two others, the Observatory said. It gave no further details.


The Syrian state media reported apparent rebel attacks. State-run news agency SANA said gunmen on Saturday kidnapped army Col. Mohammed Eid in a suburb of the central city of Hama while on his way to work.


It also reported that gunmen stormed the house of local politician Mohammed Ismail al-Ahmad in the northern town of Tin and shot him, then took him to an unknown location, SANA said. The agency said Ahmad had been planning to run for parliament.




פרסום ראשון: 04.14.12, 15:08
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