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Blasts in Aleppo kill 40 people, injures at least 100

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 3rd, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Four blasts have struck a government-controlled district close to a military officers' club in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. At least 40 people have been killed in the blast and more than a 100 people have been injured, opposition activists say.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "A medical source said that at least 40 people were killed and 90 injured," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. "Most of them were regime troops."

Official television channel Al-Ikhbariya reported that 31 people were killed and dozens wounded.

The attacks within minutes of each other struck the main Saadallah al-Jabiri Square near a military officers' club and a hotel.

In related news, a Syrian mortar bomb killed five Turkish nationals when it landed in southeastern Turkey. The deaths in the border town of Akcakale were the first time Turks have died from mortar bombs landing on their side of the border.

An Al Jazeera correspondent reporting from Beirut in neighboring Lebanon said there was still no clear claim of responsibility for the attacks. "Fighting between the government forces and the rebels continue, but no one is making any progress. The civilians are paying the price for it."

Hassan, a 30-year-old man who worked at a nearby hotel, said "We heard two enormous explosions, as though the gates of hell were opening.

"I saw thick smoke, and I helped a woman on the pavement whose arms and legs were completely dislocated," said Hassan.

A shop owner whose store is located a block away from the officers' club said: "I pulled out from the rubble a child less than 10 years old who has lost a leg." All government buildings in the area have since been closed.

The northern city of Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub and largest city, has seen intensified fighting between regime forces and rebels trying to oust President Bashar Assad.

Aleppo-based activist Mohammad Saeed says the blasts appear to have been caused by car bombs and were followed by clashes and heavy gunfire.

Suicide and car bombings targeting security agencies and soldiers have become common in Syria, particularly in the capital, Damascus, during the course of the 18-month-uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Bombings have been rare in Aleppo, which was spared the mayhem that struck other Syrian cities during the first year of the revolt.

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