- Associated Press - Saturday, January 28, 2012

BEIRUT (AP) — The deputy chief of the Arab League says the pan-Arab body has halted its observer mission in Syria because of the increasing violence there.

Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Heli says the around 100 observers still in Syria have stopped their work after a decision by member states because of the sharp spike of bloodshed in recent days. He says the observers are staying in their Damascus hotel until further notice.

At least 80 people have been killed in the past three days in Syria. Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and the prime minister of Qatar are heading to New York on Saturday to seek U.N. support for an arab plan to end Syria’s crisis.