Syria: Bombs target security buildings

2012-04-30 15:42
A Syrian man views a building that was damaged after two bombs exploded near a military compound, in the city of Idlib. (SANA/ AP)

A Syrian man views a building that was damaged after two bombs exploded near a military compound, in the city of Idlib. (SANA/ AP)

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Beirut - Explosions killed more than 20 people on Monday when bombers targeted security buildings in Syria's northwestern city of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Most of those killed were members of the security forces, Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based group, said.

"The blasts targeted two security headquarters, one housing air force intelligence, and the other military intelligence," he said.

State news agency SANA said "terrorists" were behind the attacks that were carried out by "suicide bombers".

Syrian television put the death toll at nine, among them civilians, and said around 100 people were also wounded in the two blasts in residential areas of the city.

It broadcast footage of bloodstains on the ground in one neighbourhood, and groups of angry people denouncing the violence and expressing support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Cars flattened

"Is this the freedom they want?" shouted one man, standing near a woman who was carrying a child with blood running down his forehead.

One building appeared in ruins and cars nearby were flattened by the force of the explosion.

A powerful blast, probably a car bomb, was also reported in the suburb of Qudsiya near the capital Damascus, causing an unknown number of casualties, the Observatory added.

The explosion targeted a military vehicle, said Abdel Rahman.

"Initial reports indicate there are casualties," he added. "But we cannot yet confirm the number of victims."

An unknown number of civilians living in houses near the site of the explosion were wounded, he said.

Blame game

Overnight, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Central Bank in the capital, state media said, adding that an "armed terrorist group" also carried out a second RPG attack on a police patrol in front of a hospital in the Damascus area of Rokn Eddin. Four police were wounded.

On Friday, a suicide car bomb in the heart of the capital killed 11 people.

Anti-regime activists have accused the government of being behind the series of explosions, while the authorities say "terrorists" are responsible.

"We confirm that these tricks no longer fool anyone, especially given the fact that the regime has resorted to these escalations every time there is political movement at the Arab, regional, or international level to find a political solution to the crisis in which the regime kills its people who are demanding freedom," said the activist Local Co-ordination Committees group.

The Syrian National Council, the main opposition group, said in a statement that the RPG attacks in the capital were "another trick" by the regime to justify its continued crackdown against a revolt that broke out in March last year.

"The Assad regime is trying in various ways to mislead and distract [UN] observers in order to prevent it from carrying out its work," the statement said, also calling for "an international commission of inquiry to uncover who was behind the explosions".

Ceasefire


The violence comes despite a UN-backed ceasefire that came into effect on 12 April but has failed to take hold fully.

Veteran peacekeeper Major General Robert Mood urged all sides on Sunday to abide by the ceasefire as he arrived in Damascus to take command of the UN military observer mission overseeing the truce.

The peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan calls for a commitment to stop all armed violence, a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire, media access to all areas affected by the fighting, an inclusive Syrian-led political process, a right to demonstrate and the release of detainees.

Read more on:    un  |  kofi annan  |  bashar al-assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
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