UK & World News
Syria: Suicide Bomb Kills Nine In Damascus
A suicide bomber killed nine people and injured dozens including security forces and civilians outside a mosque in Damascus.
The attack was carried out as worshippers left the Zein Al-Abideen mosque in the Midan district, an area which has seen regular protests against President Bashar al-Assad.
Security officials claim a man dressed in military uniform detonated the bomb after soldiers asked him to hand over his identity card.
Syrian state media reported other attacks on security forces in the country, including three other blasts in the capital and an explosion which injured policemen in the coastal city of Tartous.
The incident comes as UN observers in Syria struggle to ensure a fragile ceasefire between Bashar al Assad and opposition groups is preserved.
Although violence against civilians in some cities has decreased opposition activists say five people were killed on Friday including a 10-year-old boy.
Sky News followed the UN team as they travelled to the city of Idlib, 300km north of the capital.
Earlier this month activists reported that 150 people in the region were killed by the Syrian military during a two-day siege.
The city was deserted. The few civilians were on the streets and those who did venture out were outnumbered by hundreds of soldiers and security forces.
A cafe owner who insisted the situation in the city was calm and thanked the army for getting rid of what he described as 'armed gangs'.
Even if the sentiment was genuine, it was difficult to ignore the group of soldiers monitoring him a few yards away.
But the UN mission claims it's making progress and, more importantly, a difference to ordinary people.
Colonel Ahmed Himmiche told Sky News: "We achieved one of our main tasks which is liaising with the main parties in order to prepare for the arrival of the 300 UN monitors that have been mandated by the United Nations Security Council... so this is a step forward."
Two observers remained in Idlib joining others in Homs, Hama and Damascus maintaining a permanent presence on the ground.
Another 15 are expected to arrive on Monday - but it's still far from the 300 demanded by the Security Council.
The fear is that won't be enough to keep this ceasefire going and no matter how imperfect, its collapse could lead to an escalation of violence across the country.