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Explosion hits Qamishli on Sunday (FB
Explosion hits Qamishli on Sunday (FB

Syria: Explosions, Clashes as Troops shell Rebel-Held Areas

(Omar al-Shaar | Dp-news)
SYRIA- After world leaders created a grim picture of the Syrian war, a new wave of attacks erupted Sunday. The bloody conflict rages and a solution continue to be vague.

On Sunday, a suicide car-bombing hit Qamishli, a Kurdish city in northern Syria, and killed at least four people, state television reported, but a human rights group said that eight members of the security forces died in the blast.

"A suicide terrorist using a car laden with explosives attacked the western district of Qamishli," said the state broadcaster, adding that at least four people were killed.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gave a higher death toll and said the attack targeted a security headquarters.

"At least eight members of the security forces were killed, and 15 were injured," said the Britain-based monitoring group, adding that the blast was followed by heavy gunfire.

An amateur video uploaded later on YouTube by activists showed a cloud of thick smoke rising over the city.

In Damascus province, rebels killed nine soldiers when they attacked a military checkpoint on the road linking the capital with Qatana to the southwest, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

That came after soldiers backed by aerial firepower stormed the rebel stronghold of Harasta, while regime forces carried out raids in the town of Zabadani.

In the capital Damascus too, the opposition Local Coordination Committees (LCC)said the Syrian troops stormed Sunday the restive suburb of Harasta, carrying out house-to-house raids and arrests.


Elsewhere on Sunday, Syria state media reported that "armed terrorist groups ... perpetrated a massacre against" a village in Homs. They did not specify the number of people killed.

A pro-government Syrian TV said 15 people were massacred by "armed terrorist groups" in central Syrian towns on Sunday. The Sama TV reported the massacre in the towns of al-Haidarieh and Ghasanieh near the central province of Homs, placing the initial toll at 15.

 

On the same incident, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV said hundreds of armed insurgents stormed the two towns overnight and rousted locals out of their homes before killing 17 of them and kidnapping seven others. Al-Mayadeen TV gave no further details.


In Aleppo, troops shelled rebel positions after a night of fierce fighting for control of Syria's second city where a fire tore through a historic souk, monitors said.

Syrian government forces targeted "terrorists and their vehicles" in the biggest city of Aleppo, state media reported on Sunday.

Syria's state news agency (SANA) says Syrian army troops have carried out a "successful operation" in western Aleppo against "terrorist gatherings" — a reference to the rebel Free Syrian Army.

SANA added that several rebels had been killed or wounded in the violence, but gave no other details.

The Syrian government has consistently referred to rebels and anti-government forces as “terrorists”.

On Saturday, a fire sparked by battles between Assad's troops and rebels tore through Aleppo's centuries-old covered market, one of the best-preserved bazaars in the Middle East. It was the worst blow yet to the city's historic centre and to a UNESCO World Heritage site in Syria.

Hundreds of shops in The Aleppo market, a major tourist attraction, were reportedly engulfed in flames on late Friday was still burning on Saturday after severe fighting took place between Syrian Army and rebels.

The medieval souk is one of the cultural sites in the country that have become collateral damage in the civil war. Famous for its narrow stone alleys and stores selling perfume, fabrics and spices, the area has been the site of shelling and gunfire for weeks.

Press reports said that It's not clear what set off the fire in the old market, made of hundreds of stone stalls that line covered alleys with vaulted ceilings, but amateur video posted Saturday showed wall-to-wall flames engulfing wooden doors as burning debris fell away from the storefronts.

"It's a big loss and a tragedy that the old city has now been affected," Kishore Rao, director of UNESCO's World Heritage Center, told The Associated Press by telephone from Paris.

Most of the other sites recognized as heritage sites by UNESCO, the global cultural agency, are also believed to have suffered damage during the 18-month conflict.

Meanwhile, UN spokesman Khaled al Masri said Mokhtar Lamani - the head of UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's office in Syria - met with a commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army in a central part of the country.

Lamani held talks with Colonel Kassem Saadeddine in the town of Talbisseh, Homs province, and other members of the FSA, which is made up of army deserters and civilians who have taken up arms against the Assad regime.

The official also met with the governor of Homs province, Ghassan Abdelaal, as well as representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Syrian Red Crescent.

The Syrian uprising broke out in March 2011 after unarmed protesters, inspired by the success of popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, took to the streets demanding political reform and an end to four decades of al-Assad regime.

The movement devolved later into an armed conflict after a brutal and continuing crackdown by regime forces.

In recent months, rebels have succeeded in taking the fight to Damascus, but the regime has reasserted control in many areas.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 30,000 people, according to activists. It has also wreaked widespread destruction, particularly in recent weeks as regime forces stepped up air strikes and shelling attacks, and rebels fired mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades. Entire neighborhoods in Syria's three largest cities — Aleppo, the capital Damascus and Homs — have been devastated.
Visitors Comments          Number of Comments (2)
2
politics
judith kay            10/1/2012 10:43:04 PM
FSA,,,start wearing tan clothing...
1
politics
lillian fitzpatrick            10/1/2012 3:14:18 PM
How is the Al Thaurah airport?
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