Bombings, clashes continue in Syria
Updated: 2012-09-03 10:03
DAMASCUS - Bombings and urban clashes continued across Syria Sunday, showing no sign of abatement and further blurring the prospect of a foreseeable solution in the conflict-torn Arab state.
Two explosive devices went off Sunday some 200 meters away from the office of the Syrian military's joint chiefs of staff in the capital Damascus, injuring four army personnel, sources and media reports said.
The blast, though small in scope, is considered as a strong blow to the Syrian leadership as it went off in a sensitive and heavily fortified area ringed with security checkpoints and blast walls.
Sunday's blast followed three car bomb blasts Saturday in Damascus and the eastern Deir al-Zour province, in which at least 17 people were killed.
Armed rebels seem to have opted to carry out such brazen blasts as a direct showdown with the military forces.
The state-run SANA news agency said the Syrian troops have continued hunting the armed insurgent groups in Deir al-Zour, killing or injuring scores of them.
The government troops also killed an undisclosed number of armed groups in the southern province of Daraa, said SANA.
Syria's state TV also claimed that government forces had repelled an attack on the Rasm al-Abboud air base near Aleppo and showed footage of captured guns and vehicles.
Meanwhile, the opposition Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said clashes and chaos have continued in the northern province of Aleppo, central Hama and suburbs of Damascus. It said 14 people were killed during the military showdown in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen.
The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), another activists' network, said as many as 127 people were killed Sunday in different areas of Syria. It also reported violence in a number of suburbs around Damascus.
Activists' groups have reportedly said that armed rebels in Deir al-Zour captured Saturday an air defense facility. An armature video was posted on the internet by activists purporting to show the officers and soldiers captured by the rebel fighters at the captured air base building, while the Saudi-run al-Arabiya TV aired footage of what it said were rockets and ammunition seized by the assailants.
The rebels in Syria have recently warned that they will start targeting the civil airports in Damascus and Aleppo on Tuesday under the pretext that the Syrian troops are using those airports for military purposes.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the LCC said around 5,000 people were killed in August across Syria, making it one of the bloodiest months during Syria's 18-month crisis.
The activists' claims could not be checked independently.