DAMASCUS, May 8 (Xinhua) -- As Syria is bracing to announce the results of its first parliamentary elections under the new constitution, the United Nations-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan expressed Tuesday "profound concern" that with the ongoing violence Syria might descend into a full civil war.
Syria's mainstream media said the judicial committees entrusted with supervising the electoral process were counting ballots Tuesday, a day after Syrians cast their ballots and choose among the more than 7,000 candidates vying for the 250-seat parliament.
Monday's elections were marked with boycott of some opposition parties inside Syria, which dismissed the polls as "formal and designed by security forces to fit the current regime."
The elections were also criticized by the United States, which regarded the move as "bordering on ludicrous."
However, the Syrian government deems the elections as a large step of reform promised by embattled Syrian President Bashar al- Assad.
Meanwhile, UN-AL joint envoy Annan urged Tuesday the Syrian government and the opposition to halt violence "otherwise Syria would descend into a full civil war," saying that "implications of that are quite frightening."
"The violence must stop and a credible process of political dialogue must begin," he said, warning that a civil war "will not only affect Syria, it will have an impact on the whole region."
Annan made it clear that there have been numerous violations to his six-point peace plan. "The level of violence and abuses are unacceptable," he told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council by video conference in Geneva.
He said the total 300 observers will be on the ground in Syria by the end of May.
On April 21, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to approve the deployment to Syria of up to 300 unarmed UN military observers in order to monitor a fragile ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and armed opposition fighters.
Under the resolution, the UN Supervision Mission in Syria has an initial period of 90 days to carry out its mandate.
"I believe their presence will make quite a difference... I think when they are fully deployed and working as a team, establishing relations with the people, we will see much greater impact on the work they are to do," Annan said.
The UN-brokered ceasefire has done little to stem the violence in Syria, as murders, bombings, kidnapping and acts of arson and sabotage are reported on a daily basis.
The International Committee of the Red Cross on Tuesday described the fighting in Syria as an "armed conflict."
Meanwhile, Syria's permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jafari, said Tuesday that the work of the observer mission is on the right path, yet the type of crimes committed by the armed terrorist groups became worse, according to state-run SANA news agency.
Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, al-Jafari said Syria is implementing its pledges under the plan of Annan, but those sides who support terrorists with money and arms from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are not, adding that these countries should stop their support to the armed terrorist groups.
Al-Jafari added that the "armed terrorist groups" are committing crimes against civilians and military members, indicating that confessions of 26 Arabs who were arrested in Syria revealed that they came from Libya, Tunisia and other countries through Turkey and Lebanon to launch terrorist attacks in Syria.
The Syrian security forces killed 15 members of "those Takfiri and Salafi groups," he said, adding that "Therefore, we are talking about facts that cannot be denied regarding the involvement of foreign fighters in the events in Syria, which is a very serious issue."
The Syrian government said the 14-month unrest in Syria is the work of armed groups backed by a foreign plot but not by a popular will.
An armed group abducted a lieutenant colonel from his home in al-Na'iymeh village in Syria's southern Daraa province on Tuesday, SANA said, adding that four people were injured when an explosive device went off in the northern Idlib province.
According to SANA, another armed group opened fire at a worker bus near the central Homs province, killing three workers and injuring an unspecified number of others.
On the opposition side, the activists' network Local Co- ordination Committees (LCC) said six youths were killed by shelling and gunfire in Idlib and dozens more were injured.
Shelling was also reported in the provinces of Daraa, Hama and Homs. The LCC put the overall death toll of Tuesday's incidents at 23 people, including a child.
The opposition's account could not be independently checked.