Aug 15 2012 - 10:13
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Syria violence intensifies, Lebanese hostages reportedly dead

Syria violence intensifies, Lebanese hostages reportedly dead Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار hostages,Lebanese,intensifies,,violence,Syria,
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Syria violence intensifies, Lebanese hostages reportedly dead
Lebanon News

Conflicting reports emerged Wednesday on the death of the 11 Lebanese abductees held in Syria, leaving their fate uncertain.

Sources to LBCI said that 11 Lebanese abductees held in Syria were reported dead as a result of Syrian Air Forces attack on Aazaz, Aleppo. The attacks, according to the sources were conducted via MiG 20 aircrafts. Head of the media office pertaining to kidnapping mastermind Abu Ibrahim, Mohammad Nour, confirmed that three other families were also killed in the area, with dozens wounded.
    
On  "Abu Ibrahim", it was also confirmed that he was killed alongside the detainees in Aleppo.  

The air strike on the northern Syrian town of Aazaz killed 30 people and left dozens wounded according to rebel commander Ahmed Ghazali.

Pictures soon emerged of the wounded being taken into Turkish hospitals in the region of Kilis.      

The eleven  Lebanese pilgrims were kidnapped on their way back from Iran by insurgents hoping to use them for a prisoner swap on the 20th of May.                
This as the Syrian Observatory reported earlier that clashes are ongoing between opposition fighters and pro-regime troops in the vicinity of the Prime Minister’s locality in Damascus’ Mazzeh neighborhood.
Earlier, a bomb exploded in Damascus near a hotel used by United Nations monitors and three people were wounded, Syrian state television said on Wednesday.   
         
It said the bomb was attached to a gas canister. An opposition activist in the capital saw smoke rising from the scene and ambulances arriving to treat the wounded.               

Shortly after the attack, the Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility bomb attack that hit Damascus.                 

Elsewhere in Syria on Wednesday, activists reported shelling and clashes in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest, where rebels took over several neighborhoods over the past weeks.           

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels were trying to take over a key dam in the northern town of Manbij, just east of Aleppo. It added that the army was using helicopter gunships in the battles near the dam, on the strategic Euphrates River.            

The Local Coordination Committees, anther activist group, reported violence in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, northwestern region of Idlib, Daraa to the south and in Damascus suburbs.           


International positions       

Diplomats declared that Algeria’s al-Akhdar al-Ibrahimi, who is to be named as the new UN envoy to Syria in place of former envoy Kofi Annan, wants official support of the UN Security Council before agreeing to take the mission.                                

For its part, Syria has agreed on naming Akhdar al-Ibrahimi, according to the statement of Annan’s spokesman.                          

In turn, the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, declared that the western states prevent from reaching a political solution for Syria’s crisis, and are held accountable for the disagreements at the UN Security Council’s session on this issue.

The Saudi Daily al-Watan insisted that it had conducted an interview with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov where he made a statement whereby he stressed that President Assad’s brother Maher Assad lost his legs in an attack. Moscow has denied this statement on Tuesday.

The Daily’s website spread an audio clip of the interview, where an Arabic-speaking man stressed that “Maher Assad lost his legs in an explosion” and mentioned a “peaceful power transition in Syria”.   


AP/REUTERS/LBCI
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