Syria activists urge protests over blasts

2012-05-10 17:22

Beirut - Activists called for mass anti-regime demonstrations in the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday following deadly suicide attacks they said were perpetrated by the regime.

"Residents of Damascus, rise up, liberate your city from this regime of killers," said the The Syrian Revolution 2011 activist group on Facebook.

"The one that destroyed Homs and its residents with tanks and shells will not hesitate to destroy Damascus and to kill its residents with explosions," the message added.

Rebel neighbourhoods of the central city of Homs came under relentless shelling by regime forces in March that left widespread destruction and hundreds dead, according to rights groups.

"The regime will not hesitate to kill all its people to attain its objective ... what are you waiting for!" added the message posted after at least 55 people were killed and nearly 400 were wounded in the deadliest bombings of Syria's 14-month uprising.

Both the regime and the opposition accused each other of being behind Thursday's attacks.

US condemnation

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Thursday that the US embassy in Beirut called the double bombing "reprehensible and unacceptable" but said it would not change US demands that the Syrian government implement the UN-backed peace plan.

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms the attacks that took place today in Damascus," the US embassy said in statements posted on Twitter.

"The indiscriminate targeting and killing of civilians is reprehensible and unacceptable in any context," it said.

The US embassy in Damascus was closed earlier this year when tensions between the two countries rose as Washington voiced support for the revolt against Assad's rule.

The United States has criticised Assad for not sticking to a ceasefire deal and peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan. International observers say both rebels and the government have violated the agreement as violence continued.

"We continue to call on the Syrian regime to fully and immediately implement the Annan plan," the US embassy in Lebanon said.