News24

Two bombings rock Damascus

2012-03-17 09:30

Damascus - Twin bombings in the Syrian capital early on Saturday killed police and civilians, state television said, without giving any immediate breakdown, as fears mounted al-Qaeda is trying to exploit the year-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"Two terrorist bombings struck Damascus this morning," the television said, adding that preliminary reports suggested the bombers had blown up vehicles packed with explosives.

It said police and civilians were among the dead but gave no numbers.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that two powerful explosions targeted security service buildings in the capital.

A spate of bombings have hit Syria's big cities in recent months amid growing concerns that al-Qaeda has taken advantage of a year-old uprising against Assad's regime to shift its focus of operations from neighbouring Iraq.

Weapons

On March 3, a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle in Daraa, south of Damascus, cradle of the protest movement that erupted in March 2011, killing two people and wounding 20, including security force personnel, the official Sana news agency reported.

On January 6, a car bomb exploded in Damascus killing 26 people and wounding dozens more, most of them civilians. State media said it was a suicide attack and blamed "terrorists".

The blast came after twin bombs hit security services bases in the capital on December 23, with state media pointing the finger at al-Qaeda.

Twin car bombs in the northern city of Aleppo on February 10 killed 28 people and wounded 235.

The US has resisted mounting calls from its Gulf Arab allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the arming of rebels fighting loyalists troops for fear that the weapons might fall into the hands of the jihadists.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri voiced his support for the Syrian uprising in a February video message released on jihadist internet forums.

In the video titled "Onward, Lions of Syria", Zawahiri criticised the Syrian regime for crimes against its citizens, and praised those rising up against the government.

The White House said late in February that al-Qaeda's efforts to take advantage of violence in Syria mean it is no time to send arms to opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Without getting into assessments of our intelligence capabilities, I would simply say that we are aware of the fact that al-Qaeda and other extremists are seeking to take advantage of the situation created by Assad's brutal assault on the opposition," said White House spokesperson Jay Carney.

Comments
  • David - 2012-03-17 11:09

    Aw sorry my muslim brathers

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-03-17 11:42

    I wonder who is responsible

      Fred - 2012-03-18 19:48

      Yeah right. In your weird world Patrick, anything's possible.

  • Anthony - 2012-03-17 12:28

    It does not matter who is responsible, it are the civilians who are murdered by the thousands. ALL this can stop WITHIN 24 HOURS, by the inevitable; The departure by assad, his family and friends !!!

  • Ismail - 2012-03-17 13:06

    Terrorists!

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-17 14:35

      Sure they are terrorists, but for whom.

      Fred - 2012-03-18 19:48

      Zzzzzzzz

      Fred - 2012-03-19 01:40

      The opposite in fact. The same boring, wrong information from you Patrick, and not a word about the real threat the world faces: the Jihadists WHO ARE killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in their mad attempt to take the world back 2,500 years.

  • nowicki1 - 2012-03-17 15:24

    Al Qaeda joins the fun. These are the same people that will take power if Assad is removed. Fundamentalists, just like Libya. Do you think they will be as kind to Syria's christian population as Assad was? Just look what the Libyan rebels did to blacks in Libya... Al Qaeda must not have any say in Syrian politics.

      Anthony - 2012-03-17 15:38

      8000 plus deaths............That's no fun !!!! We heard for most of 2011, as soon as that Libyan fruitcake would go , Al-Qaeda was gong to take over in Libya. Well they did not. It was just used as a smokescreen to try to keep a tyrant in power. The same in Syria. Get rid of that MASS MURDERER, hold elections, and the Syrian people will see to it, that Al-Qaeda won't have much influence in their country.

      Fred - 2012-03-17 20:48

      Jumping to conclusions Matt.

      Fred - 2012-03-18 19:51

      The true African hero! Hahahahaha!

      Fred - 2012-03-19 01:44

      I know the difference between someone who calls HIMSELF an African hero, declares HIMSELF to be the KING OF KINGS of Africa, pilfers billions of dollars of money belonging to Africans, using the resources belonging to Africans to kill Africans, detain and torture them, and a person who has Africa's real and best interests at heart. Moamar Gaddafi clearly was not one. The vast majority of Libyans knew this, and they're the ones that count the most seeing as it was their country.

  • Khalid - 2012-03-17 16:31

    alqaeda are terrorists, just hiding behind a arabic name, pigs!

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