Campus blasts kill at least 82 in Syria

2013-01-16 08:31
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Damascus - Twin blasts ripped through university buildings in Syria's second city Aleppo on Tuesday killing at least 82 people and wounding scores more, on the first day of exams for students.

Regime forces and rebels blamed each other for the carnage, in a government-controlled area of the battleground northern city.

"So far there are 82 fatalities and more than 160 wounded in a terrorist attack that targeted students on their first day of exams at the University of Aleppo," Governor Mohammed Wahid Akkad told AFP by telephone.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 83 people had been killed in the blasts and at least 150 others wounded, some critically.

While opposition activists said government jets had carried out an air strike, a military official said ground-to-air missiles fired by rebels had fallen short.

State television said "terrorists launched two rockets" at the campus.

State news agency SANA said "it was the first day of exams. Students and displaced people were among the victims".

As well as students, the university campus houses at least 30 000 people who have fled parts of the city ravaged by fighting since rebels seized many neighbourhoods last July.

Some of those displaced people were among the casualties SANA reported, citing an official source.

Video footage posted online by students showed tearful survivors taking refuge in a campus building.

Conflicting reports

The explosions struck an area near the university dormitories and the architecture faculty, the Observatory said, adding "the nature of the explosions is still unclear.

"There are conflicting reports of air raids and two explosions on the ground."

Nationwide, at least 152 people were killed on Tuesday, 128 of them civilians, the Britain-based watchdog said.

It also said dozens of people had been killed or wounded when Syrian troops stormed rebel positions near a military academy in the central province of Homs Tuesday.

The Syrian Revolution General Council accused regime forces of having "committed a massacre" there, saying "more than 24 people were summarily executed and their homes and bodies were burned".

The latest violence came as Russia rejected as "counterproductive" Swiss-led efforts at the UN Security Council to seek prosecution of key figures in Assad's regime before the International Criminal Court.

Only the Security Council has the right to refer the Syria case to the Hague-based court because Syria is not an ICC member.

Russia, a traditional Syrian ally, has vetoed three prior council resolutions sanctioning Assad. It said on Tuesday that a war crimes referral could only escalate the crisis.

Moscow also once again reaffirmed its support for a Syrian transition plan agreed by world powers in June that was never implemented because of the fighting.

Chemical weapons

It called for the quick creation of an interim government with full powers, but it never assigned a clear role for Assad - and that issue has been interpreted differently by Russia and the West.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for talks with Damascus' key regional ally, state television reported.

The Fars news agency said the two sides would discuss "Assad's three-step plan" for the political future, which he presented on 6 January.

The opposition and Western governments rejected Assad's plan, saying it was detached from reality. It offered dialogue but only with opposition groups he deemed acceptable, not "terrorists" led by foreigners.

Iran has supplied financial aid to Syria and has confirmed sending military advisers to assist in the regime's nearly 22-month crackdown.

According to the UN figures, more than 60 000 people have been killed in the violence in Syria since March 2011.

Washington meanwhile brushed aside a report of a leaked State Department cable indicating that Syria had used chemical weapons during the crackdown.

Foreign Policy, an online magazine, said it had acquired a report by US diplomats in Turkey that made a "compelling case" Damascus had used poison gas.

But National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor said there was no evidence Syria had taken new steps towards using chemical weapons.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  us  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Food
 

Watch: Insane road bike skills!

This will have you sitting on the edge of your chair.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.