27 Killed as Two Explosions Rock Damascus

Damascus bombingSyria says twin car bombings in Damascus on Saturday have killed at least 27 people.

State
media reports say nearly 100 people were wounded in the blasts, which
occurred minutes apart near a police security building and an
intelligence center.


Television footage and photos have shown smoke billowing from the
explosion sites, twisted steel and debris strewn in front of a
blasted-out building, and the mangled remains of victims.

There
was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Syrian officials blamed
“terrorists” who may be linked to the year-long protests against
President Bashar al-Assad.

The explosions occurred a day before a
team of U.N. experts were due to begin a trip to Syria to discuss the
possible deployment of international monitors, as part of efforts to
curb deadly violence from the government’s crackdown on dissent.

After
briefing the U.N. Security Council Friday, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan
said Syria’s political turmoil needs to be handled carefully to avoid
any “miscalculations” that could lead to a “major escalation” that could
affect the entire region.

Annan is serving as a special
U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria. He traveled to Damascus about a week
ago and discussed proposals with Assad on ending Syria’s political
turmoil.

The U.N. says more than 8,000 people have died since the anti-government uprising began a year ago.  

Syria’s
last major bombings were in February. Twin blasts at security
facilities in the northern city of Aleppo killed 28 people.

SOURCE: VOA