Same hand behind Iraq, Syria: Damascus

2012-03-20 21:23

Damascus - Syria said the same "deadly hand" was behind the wave of attacks in Iraq that killed at least 45 people on Tuesday and the weekend bombings in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo.

The foreign ministry said it "strongly condemns the terrorist explosions" in neighbouring Iraq.

"The deadly hand which recently struck in Damascus and Aleppo is the same as the one which targeted Iraqi cities today," the ministry said in a statement. "The blood spilt today on Iraqi soil is the same as that spilt in Syria."

The violence in Iraq bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda, which tries to launch co-ordinated nationwide mass-casualty bombings, although no one immediately claimed responsibility.

A double suicide car bombing in Damascus on Saturday killed 27 people, the interior ministry said, a day before a similar attack killed two more in Aleppo, Syria's second largest city.

Syria has blamed the bombings on "armed terrorist gangs" which it holds responsible for the year-old bloodshed in the country that monitors say has cost more than 9 000 lives in a brutal crackdown on dissent.

It has also pointed to an al-Qaeda role in the violence, while opposition activists have accused the Damascus regime of stage-managing attacks such as the car bombings.

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