UK & World News

  • 28 November 2012, 11:18

Syria: Deadly Car Bomb Blasts Rock Damascus

At least 34 people have been killed after two suspected car bombs exploded in the Syrian capital Damascus, state TV quoted the interior ministry as saying.

Addounia television said the blasts occurred early in the morning in the eastern district of Jaramana.

It broadcast footage of firefighters hosing down two vehicles. Debris from damaged buildings had crushed other cars in the area.

State TV blamed "terrorists" for the bombings - a phrase its uses to refer to the rebels battling to force the regime of President Bashar al Assad from power.

It also said 10 bags of unidentified remains had been collected from the scene and 83 people had been seriously wounded.

The explosions happened as the opposition coalition was due to meet in Cairo to discuss forming a transitional government.

"The objective is to name the prime minister for a transitional government, or at least have a list of candidates ahead of the Friends of Syria meeting," said Suhair al Atassi, one of the coalition's two vice presidents.

Countries friendly to the rebels are also meeting in the Egyptian capital over the coming days.

Meanwhile, a UN committee condemned "gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms" by both the Syrian regime and government-controlled militias.

The resolution urges Syrian authorities to immediately release all detainees and calls for a prompt independent international investigation into abuses and violations of international law with a view to bringing to justice those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other crimes.

It makes no mention of opposition forces but does express "grave concern at the escalation of violence" in the country.

The resolution is almost certain to be adopted by the 193-member General Assembly next month, however will not be legally binding.

More than 40,000 people are estimated to have died since the uprising against Assad's regime began 20 months ago.