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Syrian opposition condemns suicide bombing in Damascus

(Xinhua)

13:54, January 07, 2012

DAMASCUS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Syrian opposition figures denounced the explosion that rattled the heart of the Syrian capital of Damascus Friday, calling for embarking on a national dialogue to help bring the months-long crisis in the Middle East country to a close.

A suicide bombing ripped through al-Midan neighborhood in Damascus Friday, killing at least 25 people and leaving dozens of others wounded.

"The blast that has occurred today is suspicious and it's a result of the ongoing violence practiced by the authorities, who haven't abided by the Arab League peace plan," said Hasan Abdul- Azim, head of the opposition National Coordination Body.

"We can't accuse any party without solid evidence," he said, adding that "we condemn any criminal act regardless of who stands behind it and we stress that the Syrian revolution should remain peaceful because it's the only guarantee for it to triumph."

George Gabbour, a political analyst and former parliamentarian, told Xinhua that "I don't have any reason to question the official statement by the government on today's blast."

"Some opposition parties accused the Syrian leadership of being behind the blasts in Damascus, but most people don't believe so," Jabbour said, adding that "the opposition should present an evidence to substantiate its claims otherwise its accusations are just talks."

Right after the bombing, head of the so-called Syrian Free Army, a Turkish-based anti-government militia group allegedly comprised of army defectors, condemned the bombing and blamed the regime of President Bashar Assad for the blast.

In a phone interview with the Qatari al-Jazeera TV, Riad Asaad, a breakaway air force Col, said that he has about 35,000 defectors across Syria.

He confessed that his groups had carried out attacks over that past days against the Syrian army, and pledged that "we will surprise the Assad-regime with more qualitative operations."

The bombings represent an escalation of violence in Syria at a time when the Arab League observers are touring the country to monitor the nearly 10-month-old unrest on ground.

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