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Russia suspends Consulates General in Aleppo, Syria


16:37, January 16, 2013

MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Russia temporarily suspended the operation of its Consulate General in northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the country's largest city and a former economic hub, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"The operations of Russian Federation's Consulate General in Aleppo is temporarily suspended. For all inquires please contact the Consulate Department of the Russian Embassy in Damascus," the ministry said in a statement published on its website.

The move came after dozens of people were killed or injured Tuesday when two rockets struck the main university of Aleppo.

The pro-government news network Ajel quoted the governor of Aleppo as saying that the death toll of the Aleppo blast was 82 people, with more than 160 injured.

Aleppo has emerged as the main focal point of deadly violence in Syria's 22-month-old crisis.

The armed rebels there have been pushing for territorial gains to control the city in hope of establishing their de facto capital in that crucial slice of Syria. However, most of the Aleppans have shown rejection to the presence of armed rebels and accused them of looting and burglary.

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