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Syria conflict: Deadly blasts rip through Aleppo square

Syria conflict: Deadly blasts rip through Aleppo square

03 Ekim 2012 Çarşamba 18:38
At least 33 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a series of bomb explosions in the centre of Syria's second city, Aleppo.

The attacks levelled buildings in the city's main square.

A military officers' club and a hotel appear to have borne the brunt of the blasts, some of which were carried out by suicide car bombers.

Aleppo has become a key battleground between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

Rebels have not been able to take over the city, but government forces - despite massive bombardments by artillery, tanks and aircraft - failed to dislodge opposition fighters.

There are reports that regime forces are preparing for a major offensive.

'Terrorists'

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, quoted medical sources as saying that most of the dead in Wednesday morning's bombings in Saadallah al-Jabari Square were regime troops.

Syrian government officials, however, said many civilians had been killed.

Footage from the scene showed bodies being carried away, with blankets being used as stretchers.

Deadliest bombings

  • December 2011, Damascus: Car bombs outside intelligence agency buildings leave 44 dead
  • January 2012, Damascus: Explosion at intersection kills 25 people
  • February 2012, Aleppo: Twin suicide bombings target security compounds, killing 28 people
  • March 2012, Damascus: Blasts kill 27 people near intelligence and security buildings
  • May 2012, Damascus: Twin car bombings outside military intelligence building kill 55 people
  • July 2012, Damascus: Blast at National Security Bureau HQ kills four senior security officials
  • October 2012, Aleppo: Bombs explode in Saadallah al-Jabari Square, killing 33 people

He said the officers' club and the hotel were almost completely destroyed.

State television said that after the explosions, two or three "terrorists" appeared wearing military uniforms and explosive vests, but were shot dead before they could carry out any attacks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Syria's state-run Sana news agency said the bombings were carried out by "terrorists".

The speaker of the Syrian parliament, Jihad al-Laham, said foreign powers supporting opposition rebel groups were responsible.

"We condemn these crimes... We also condemn the countries that are conspiring against Syria and support the terrorists," he told state TV.

Bombings - many of them targeting security facilities - have become increasingly common in the Syrian conflict, which began in March last year and has seen protests for political reform develop into an armed insurgency that has reportedly left tens of thousands dead.

On 18 July, rebels bombed a complex in the capital Damascus, killing four senior security officials, including President Assad's brother-in-law and the defence minister.

Attempts to address the conflict at the United Nations have been blocked by a standoff in the Security Council between Russia and China, traditional Assad supporters, and Western powers seeking a tougher stance against the Syrian regime.

Wednesday also saw shells from Syria kill three people - including a woman and a child - and wound several others in the Turkish town of Akcakale, in southern Sanliurfa province, witnesses reported.   BBC

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