Opposition: Syrian regime orchestrated bombings
Fri, May 11, 2012 - 12:00 AM
(CNN) -- A major Syrian opposition group claims Bashar al-Assad's regime staged the deadly suicide bombings in Damascus "to spur chaos, disrupt the work of the international observers and divert attention away from other crimes being committed by its forces elsewhere."
"In orchestrating such acts," the Syrian National Council said Friday, "the regime seeks to prove its claims of the existence of 'armed terrorist gangs' in the country that are hindering its so-called 'efforts of political reform.' "
More than 55 people were killed and 370 were injured in two car bombings near a military intelligence center in the Qazzaz neighborhood of Damascus, the nation's capital. It was the deadliest attack since a grass-roots uprising against the regime began 14 months ago.
Fresh violence hit some areas Friday, killing at least 13 people, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition group.
The bombings didn't deter Syrians from taking to the streets in protest across the country Friday, the day opposition groups have been staging nationwide protests.
But the attacks cast doubt on the effectiveness of the U.N.-Arab League initiative to impose a truce and a six-point peace plan, forged by international envoy Kofi Annan.
Since the cease-fire went into effect last month, some days have been calmer, but violence has continued. The Local Coordination Committees of Syria reports more than 1,000 deaths since April 12. An unarmed U.N. observer mission has been monitoring the adherence to the cease-fire and peace plan.
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