France accuses Syria of trying to dupe monitors

Syria has blamed the twin bombings on al Qaeda extremists, but observers suspect Damascus` role in the attack.

Paris: France said on Saturday it did not know who was behind two deadly suicide bombings in Syria, but accused President Bashar al-Assad`s regime of trying to hide its own brutal tactics from foreign observers.

Syria has blamed the twin bombings on al Qaeda extremists, but some observers suspect Damascus itself might be trying to manipulate public opinion just as an Arab League monitoring mission gets under way.

"We still don`t have any details on the origin of these attacks," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said, when asked whether Paris shares suspicions that Assad`s regime might have staged the bombings.

Valero said, however, that France was more generally concerned that Syria had for several days been carrying out actions "to mask the reality of the repression, notably by transferring political prisoners to secret jails.

"Bashar al-Assad is wrong if he thinks he can once again trick the international community by play acting, lies and procrastination," he said.

Today`s bombings were the first reported large-scale suicide attacks in the nine-month-old uprising against Assad, which has thus far largely been marked by the brutal
repression of street protests.

They came one day after the arrival of Arab League peace monitors.


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