Friday, December 23, 2011

Syria says twin suicide bombings in Damascus kill 40

At least 40 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in two suicide car bombings in Syria's capital, Damascus, officials say.
State TV said suspected al-Qaeda militants had targeted a General Security Directorate base and another security agency in the Kafr Sousa area.
But opposition activists said the government had staged the attacks to influence an Arab League observer team.
The observers are part of a plan to end the deadly crackdown on dissent.
The UN says more than 5,000 people have been killed and thousands more detained since anti-government protests erupted in March.
The monitors are tasked with overseeing the government's compliance with an agreement that should see an end to violence by both sides, troops withdrawn from the streets and all detained protesters released.
But human rights and opposition activists said the killings continued on Friday, with security forces shooting dead at least 12 civilians.
The US state department on Friday condemned the attacks but said they must not deter the Arab League observers from doing their work.
'Al-Qaeda infiltration' The two explosions happened within minutes of each other on Friday morning.
Not long afterwards, State TV said two attacks had been "carried about by suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives against bases of state security [General Security Directorate] and another branch of the security services" in the upmarket Kfar Sousa district, south-west of the city centre.
"Preliminary investigations showed al-Qaeda was responsible," it added.
Video footage was broadcast of heavily damaged buildings, with rescue workers combing through burnt buildings and blood-stained debris, and ambulances taking the injured away.
The state-owned news channel, al-Ikhbariya al-Suriya, said the first car bomb exploded outside the offices of an unspecified security agency.
When guards at a nearby compound housing the General Security Directorate went to inspect the aftermath of the first blast, the driver of another vehicle rammed the main gates and detonated the bomb it was carrying, the channel said.(...)More.

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