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Syria: 28 killed in Aleppo bomb blasts

Bashar Assad’s forces continue to bombard the city of Homs as the government said that military complexes in the economically important city of Aleppo had been targeted today.

A Syrian living in Malaysia with her fingers painted with Syrian flag takes part in a protest rally to condemn the killing by Syrian regime.
A Syrian living in Malaysia with her fingers painted with Syrian flag takes part in a protest rally to condemn the killing by Syrian regime.
Image: Lai Seng Sin/AP/Press Association Images

- Updated 5.30pm

TWO EXPLOSIONS HAVE rocked the Syrian city of Aleppo, causing a number of casualties according to state media in the country.

The Guardian reports that 28 people have been killed and 175 injured in blasts at a security compound in the city.

The blasts were car bombs, Sky News reports, saying that windows were shattered on residential buildings and debris filled the streets.

“Armed terrorist gangs” have been blamed for the attacks which State TV reported had hit a military intelligence complex and a security force base in a city which is considered as key to president Bashar Assad’s grip on power.

The embattled Syrian leader has overseen a brutal crackdown on demonstrations against his rule with over 5,400 thought to have died in violence which has over the past week centred on the city of Homs where rebels claim control.

Protesters are calling for Assad to step down from power and for democratic reform of the country’s institutions but have faced an onslaught from Assad’s forces.

The blasts were the first in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, which has been relatively quiet since the uprising against the regime erupted almost a year ago. Aleppo is an economic powerhouse close to the Turkish border.

The bloodshed in Syria has drawn widespread criticism but attempts by the West to resolve the conflict have been fruitless with Russia and China vetoeing a UN Security Council resolution on an Arab League peace deal last weekend.

US president Barack Obama yesterday said that he had a “great interest” in ending the “outrageous bloodshed” in Syria in comments made at the White House following a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monto.

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“We both have a great interest in ending the outrageous bloodshed that we’ve seen and see a transition from the current government that has been assaulting its people,” he is quoted as saying by AFP.

The agency also reports that tanks are now entering neighbourhoods controlled by rebels in the city of Homs. Nationwide protests against Russia’s support of Syria are planned today.

Russia had pledged to end violence in the country with its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov holding talks with Assad earlier this week. But despite apparent assurances that violence would end dialogue with the rebels would begin there has been no let-up in recent days.

BBC News cites one activist network as saying that as many as 110 people died in Homs – a  city of one million people – yesterday as government forces moved to restore order.

- additional reporting from AP

Over a dozen dead as shelling of Syrian city of Homs continues

Syria: Dozens reported dead as shelling of Homs continues

Videos: What’s happening in Homs?

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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