3 killed, 30 injured in Syria car bomb blast
DAMASCUS SYRIA was hit by the third lethal car bombing of the weekend on Sunday as UN teams readied for a government- led humanitarian mission and to work to launch a monitoring operation to end a year of bloodshed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in a statement, said the latest blast targeted political security offices in the northern city of Aleppo, killing three civilians and wounding more than 30 others.
State media, which have said that such attacks aimed to sabotage efforts to find a political solution to Syria’s crisis, said it exploded near residential buildings and a post office.
The attack left dead and wounded, causing heavy damage to apartment buildings and cars, state television reported, without giving a precise casualty toll.
Activists in Aleppo, the target of car bombings on February 10 that killed 28 people, told AFP in Beirut on Skype that the blast rocked the city at 12:50 pm (1050 GMT).
On Saturday, twin car bombings killed 27 people and wounded 140 others in the heart of Syria’s capital, mostly civilians, the interior ministry said, blaming “terrorists” for the attacks near police and air force headquarters.
The capital and Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, are both seen as having high levels of support for President Bashar al Assad and been relatively unscathed by the brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests.
“Yesterday’s explosions were carried out by terrorists supported by foreign powers which finance and arm them,” charged Al-Baath newspaper, mouthpiece of Assad’s ruling party of the same name.
“The two attacks... aim to disrupt Annan’s mission and to foil international efforts to find a political solution to the crisis,” it said, referring to UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan.
A rally and prayers were held on Sunday at the site of the biggest explosion, in the Al Qasaa district that is home to many members of Syria’s Christian minority.
State television, which said victims were being buried Sunday, has repeatedly broadcast how the Al-Qasaa blast had totally gutted the facade of a multi-storey building, wrecked family homes and left behind blood-splattered pavements.
Opposition activists accused the regime, as in past lethal bombings in the capital and the northern city of Aleppo, of having stage-managed the attacks.