Eight killed in Syria blasts30/04/2012 - 10:57:13
Two powerful bombs exploded near a military compound in the north-western Syrian city of Idlib today, killing at least eight people and causing heavy damage, Syrian state media and opposition activists said.
One activist group, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, put the death toll at more than 20, but the figure could not be confirmed.
Syria’s pro-government al-Ekhbariya TV aired footage of the aftermath, showing smashed cars and twisted debris. The force of the explosions shattered windows in the area.
Pro-government websites said dozens of people were wounded in the blasts and five buildings damaged.
A local opposition activist in Idlib said the explosions went off about five minutes apart just after daybreak. One of the blasts detonated near a hotel where a pair of UN truce monitors have been staying, said the activist.
A pro-government website said the hotel was damaged in the explosion.
Earlier today, gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades at the central bank and a police patrol in the capital of Damascus, wounding four officers and causing light damage to the bank, the state-run SANA news agency said.
The news agency said the two explosions were carried out by suicide bombers.
A UN-brokered ceasefire that went into effect on April 12 has failed so far to bring an end to the violence, being widely ignored by both regime forces and rebels.
A Norwegian general took command on Sunday of a UN observer team that has been sent to monitor the ceasefire. After arriving in Damascus, Major General Robert Mood appealed to both sides to halt the fighting.
Sixteen observers are on the ground now, but the team is to grow to 300.
UN officials have singled out the regime as the main aggressor, noting that it continues to target opposition strongholds and has failed to withdraw tanks and troops from population centres. However, rebel fighters have also kept up attacks on Syrian troops.
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