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25 KILLED IN DAMASCUS SUICIDE BOMBING

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A suicide attacker, on Friday 01/06/2012, has detonated a bomb in Damascus killing 25 people, Syrian state TV said.

The attack occurred in the al-Maidan neighbourhood, between a local school and a police station,  in the heart of the capital on Friday, two weeks after 44 people died in a similar attack in Damascus (see – Damascus 12.23.11). Opposition activists accused the government of staging them.

The latest attack came ahead of planned mass protests by opposition activists to demand an Arab League observer mission, in Syria for two weeks, admit its failure to stem nearly 10 months of bloodshed and hand over to the UN. The Midan district has been the scene of recent protests against President Bashar Assad’s government.

But activists say a Syrian government crackdown has continued, with scores of people killed. A resident of Midan – the scene of reported anti-government protests in recent weeks – told Reuters news agency that ambulances were in the area.

The blast happened at an intersection in the central district of Midan in the capital, and state television said it was the work of unidentified terrorists.

Syrian TV showed pictures of the shattered blood-splattered windows of what appeared to be a bus carrying policemen, but civilians were also said to be among the casualties. It said the explosion had targeted “civilians and people who had felt secure”.

Most foreign correspondents have been barred from reporting within Syria itself.

It becomes clear that Syria slides fast to an Iraqi style civil war (see – IRAQI CONCERN).

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