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Bombings in Syria put UN-backed initiative at stake

(Xinhua)

08:05, April 28, 2012

DAMASCUS, April 27 (Xinhua) -- A string of bombings hit the Syrian capital of Damascus on Friday, leaving at least 11 people killed. The surge in violence dealt a tough blow to a peace plan brokered by the Arab League (AL)-UN joint envoy Kofi Annan.

About four bombings hit Damascus Friday, the deadliest of which took place in the central al-Midan neighborhood, when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a security forces' bus stationed under a bridge near a mosque apparently to prevent worshipers from staging anti-government protests, witnesses said.

Hours following the suicide bombing, the ministry of interior vowed to beat with an "iron fist" all those who might intimidate residents and spread anarchy in the country.

In a statement carried by state-run SANA news agency, the ministry called upon citizens to report any suspicious case and give information that they might obtain on terrorist activities, adding that it will not tolerate armed terrorist groups.

It said that a suicide bomber, with an explosive belt, blew himself up Friday on the main road near Zein al-Abidin Mosque in al-Midan, as worshippers were leaving the mosque, killing nine, scattering human remains of two unidentified persons and injuring 26 civilians and law-enforcement members.

It added that authorities headed to the site and took samples of the human remains to identify the terrorist, adding that investigations are underway to reveal the details of the attack.

Meanwhile, Syrian Health Minister Wael al-Halqi said Friday that the explosion basically targeted law-enforcement agents, adding that this escalation came in the framework of an anti-Syria campaign to "undermine Annan's plan that can be conducive in reaching a solution to the crisis within its six points."

The cease-fire truce, which went into effect on April 12, is part of a six-point peace plan brokered by Annan. The plan, widely backed by the international community, calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.

"Syria is committed to this plan, but the other party isn't ... therefore, there is a surge in bombings, terrorist acts and assassination," Halqi said.

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