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Deadly bombs hit Syria cities after peace talks flop

AFP | Last Updated: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 10:51

Damascus: Bomb attacks in Damascus and southern Syria killed at least 16 people, a day after Moscow and Washington failed to announce a date for proposed peace talks.

In Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said yesterday Moscow was ready to host informal talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s regime and the opposition.

Russian and US officials on Tuesday failed to agree a date for a proposed peace conference in Geneva that has been delayed multiple times.

On the ground in Syria, at least eight people were killed and 50 wounded in Damascus by a blast in the central Hijaz Square, state news agency SANA reported.

"Eight citizens, including two women, were killed in an explosion caused by a bomb placed by terrorists at the entrance to the Hijaz railroad company," it said.

And in the southern city of Sweida, eight intelligence officers were killed when a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle outside their base, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The city is a bastion of the Druze minority and under regime control.

SANA also reported the attack, citing a police source who said "eight citizens" were killed and 41 wounded.

In central Homs province, the Observatory reported that rebels had seized part of a key arms depot after a two-week assault.

The rebels "seized a large amount of weapons" from the sprawling complex outside the town of Mahin, the group said.

But a regime security official denied the report, saying: "The battle is continuing. The terrorists did not take any weapons, and there are many losses in their ranks."

The Observatory reported that more than 50 rebels and 20 government loyalists were killed in fighting for the base on Tuesday alone.

Farther north, government troops recaptured most of the strategic town of Tal Aran, south of Aleppo, in another boost to their efforts to consolidate a supply route to Syria`s main northern city after their capture of nearby Sfeirah last week.

First Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 10:51
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