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World News

Rockets hit eastern Aleppo, dozens of casualties

22-02-2013
14:00
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Rockets struck two eastern districts of Aleppo city on Friday, destroying houses and burying families in their homes, activists in the city said.    

One activist said a rocket fell in Ard al-Hamra neighborhood, causing widespread destruction. "There are families buried under the rubble," he said by Skype after visiting the scene. "Nothing can describe it, it's a horrible sight."    

On the other hand, ninety people died in Thursday's four bombings across Damascus, a violence monitoring group said, making it one of the bloodiest days in the Syrian capital since the outbreak of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad nearly two years ago.
   
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, quoting figures it said were compiled from hospitals and other medical sources, said at least 60 of the dead were killed in a powerful car bomb blast in the Mazraa district of central Damascus, near the Russian Embassy and offices of Assad's ruling Baath Party.
   
The others were killed in three coordinated bombings in the north-eastern district of Barzeh, the Britain-based group said.
   
Syrian state media put the death toll from the Mazraa bombing at 53, with more than 200 wounded. Both activists and officials said most of those killed were civilians, including children.
   
In addition to the violence in the capital, more than 200 people were killed elsewhere including in the Damascus suburbs, the southern city of Deraa and northern commercial hub of Aleppo, bringing Thursday's death to around 300 - one of the highest in a single day, the Observatory said.           

Activists say Syrian regime forces have shelled rebel strongholds near Damascus International Airport.
     
There were no reports of casualties from the shelling, which targeted the towns of Beit Sahm and Shebaa near the main airport road south of the capital.
     
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees also reported clashes in rebel strongholds of Daraya and Moadamiyeh, southwest of Damascus.
     
Friday's violence follows a particularly bloody day in the Syrian capital, which was struck by three car bombings, including a suicide blast that killed at least 53 people.

Positions:

The 15 member states of the U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a unified statement on Damascus attack due to disputes over the responsibility of both the regime and the opposition for the violence taking place in Syria, according to a diplomat. 

In this regard, Russia accused the United States on Friday of having double standards over the crisis in Syria, saying it had blocked a U.N. Security Council statement condemning a car bomb attack in Damascus.    

Criticizing Washington's position, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters: "We believe this is double standards."

Also on Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the attack and bombings which rocked the Syrian capital on Thursday, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries.     
According to his spokesman Martin Nesirky, the U.N. Chief  reiterated his firm belief that a political solution is "the sole way out of the Syrian crisis."           

He reportedly called on all parties to put an end to violence and to respect international human rights.            

A car bomb exploded Thursday near Syria's ruling party headquarters in Damascus and the Russian embassy, killing at least 53 people and scattering mangled bodies among the blazing wreckage in one of the bloodiest days in the capital since the uprising began almost two years ago.

Elsewhere in the city, two other bombs struck intelligence offices, killing 22, and mortar rounds hit the army's central command.


AP/LBCI/REUTERS



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