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Mar 17 2012
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At least 27 killed in Damascus blasts

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At least 27 people were killed and more than 97 were wounded including several security police members and civilians in two explosions which hit Damascus early on Saturday, a Syrian television channel said, quoting Health Minister Wael al-Halki. The state television blamed what it said were terrorists behind the year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.    
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Video from a blast at the aviation intelligence headquarters showed the front of the building blown away, with numerous burnt out cars littering the street below.    
The second bomb targeted a criminal security headquarters, with television showing the smoldering wreckage of a car at the site, and what appeared to be at a charred corpse inside the mangled shell.    

A minivan nearby had a pool of blood on the floor. Its doors and windows were shattered and its panels were also stained red with blood. Damascus residents said clouds of black smoke could be seen rising from the areas where the blasts struck.     No one claimed responsibility for the twin attacks, which appeared to be similar to suicide bombings that struck Damascus and Syria's second city Aleppo in the last three months.    

The explosions came two days after the first anniversary of year-long uprising, in which the United Nations says more than 8,000 people have been killed and some 230,000 forced to flee their homes as the violence spreads.         

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that two policemen were killed and three others were wounded in an attack launched by unidentified gunmen at dawn Saturday on the police department in the town of Hritan, in rural Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent two identical letters to the President of the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The letter read that Damascus will proceed with its duty to protect its citizens and disarm and punish terrorists in order to find a political solution to the crisis in cooperation with the U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.      

Reuters/LBCI
 
 
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