Saturday, October 19, 2013

Syria: Suicide bomber, clashes kill over 30 near Damascus

(AFP) A suicide car bombing and assault on a checkpoint in a key Damascus neighbourhood killed 16 Syrian soldiers Saturday, as the UN-Arab League envoy began a regional push for peace talks.

A UN official called for a ceasefire elsewhere in the Damascus suburbs to evacuate thousands of residents from areas besieged by regime forces for months, and where a local cleric has issued a religious ruling allowing the eating of cats and dogs.
(Reuters) The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 15 rebels and at least 16 soldiers were killed.

The British-based Observatory said the checkpoint explosion, near the suburbs of Mleiha and Jaramana, was detonated by a suicide bomber from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

Nusra supporters on Twitter, however, said the bomber had intended to blow himself up in the car, but instead got out before setting off the explosives inside. They said rebel forces had captured the checkpoint hit by the car bomb and were battling to take a second one nearby.