Suicide Blast, Attacks Kill at Least 19 in Syria

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  • W460
  • W460

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car outside security headquarters in Syria's biggest eastern city on Saturday, killing nine people and wounding 100, state media said.

The attack was the the first of its kind in Deir al-Zour since an anti-regime uprising broke out in Syria in March 2011, and the deaths there came as at least another 10 people died elsewhere in the country.

Among the dead were a woman and her two children gunned down in the northern city of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A "terrorist suicide bomber" used 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of explosives in the attack on the Deir al-Zour neighborhood of Ghazi Ayyash, said state television.

The powerful explosion left a crater 3.5 meters deep and damaged buildings within a radius of 100 meters, the channel said, adding that a four-year-old girl was among those critically wounded.

It occurred on a road housing a military and air force intelligence headquarters and a military hospital, according to the Observatory.

Images broadcast on state television showed a large bloodstain on the ground, a damaged building and vehicles charred by the blast, as well as smoke rising from the targeted district.

There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing but, as typically happens in such cases, the opposition blamed it on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"The Syrian National Council places on the Syrian regime the entire responsibility... for the criminal bombings in several Syrian cities, including the one today in Deir al-Zour," it said in a statement.

Elsewhere, a rocket slammed into the ruling Baath party's offices in northern Aleppo province, the Observatory said, a day after unprecedented anti-regime protests in the provincial capital of the same name.

"Unidentified gunmen targeted a Baath party office in Aleppo's Al-Bab town with a rocket-propelled grenade," said the Britain-based watchdog.

Immediately after the attack, clashes broke out between the gunmen and guards, but there were no reports of any casualties.

The government said it had foiled a suicide bomb attack in Aleppo on May 11, a day after twin bombings in Damascus killed 55 people and wounded nearly 400. It has repeatedly blamed bomb attacks on "terrorists" and Al-Qaeda.

In Homs, sniper fire killed a civilian and blasts were heard as shells rained down on the flashpoint central city, the Observatory said.

Saturday's bombing in Deir al-Zour came a day after regime forces foiled a would-be car bombing in the same city, which is about 110 kilometers from the Iraqi border.

What started out as a popular uprising has over time developed into an increasingly militarized revolt, after Assad's regime used force to crack down on peaceful protests.

According to the Observatory, more than 12,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt broke out in March last year, most of them civilians.

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