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Explosions rock Syria as Iran, Egypt underscore need for political solution


08:21, April 01, 2013

DAMASCUS, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Multiple explosions rocked several parts of Syria on Sunday, leaving injuries and material losses, as Egypt and Iran stressed the need for a political solution to the country's long-standing crisis.

Two explosive devices separately went off Sunday in al-Mazzeh district of the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing at least one person and injuring an undisclosed number of others, local media said.

Both explosive devices were affixed under cars in the upscale district of al-Mazzeh, the pro-government Sham FM radio said, adding that the first one exploded before the crack of dawn Sunday and the other one went off in the afternoon.

The report stopped short of identifying the targets of the explosions, whose occurrences have become a daily routine along with the mortar shelling from rebel strongholds around the capital.

Also, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two explosions shook the Tariq Halab neighborhood of the central province of Hama, adding the blasts were coupled with violent clashes between regular forces and rebel fighters in that area.

The Observatory stopped short of giving details on casualties and reported another big blast in southern villages of the western coastal city of Banias without giving a death toll.

Another car bomb ripped through a checkpoint setup by rebels at the Damascus suburb of Sbaineh, killing five rebels, the Observatory said, adding that violent clashes rocked the Damascus suburbs of al-Eteiba and Darayya.

Meanwhile, the state-run SANA news agency said "terrorists" committed a "fresh massacre" at al-Burj neighborhood in the central city of Talkalkh, killing 10 people, mostly women and children, and looting a number of houses and shops.

Quoting an official source in the area, SANA said the rebels stormed al-Burj neighborhood but the army later dislodged them.

Separately, the Syrian government on Sunday accused the rebels of setting fire to three oil wells in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, according to SANA.

The fire would cause a daily loss of 4,670 barrels of oil and 52 cubic meters of natural gas, said SANA, adding that the rebels set the wells alight after inter-fights over how to divide the oil.

The state agency said the authorities were working to extinguish the fire at the three blazing wells, noting that rebels have set fire to a total of nine wells in recent months.

Meanwhile, Iran's deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir- Abdollahian said that Iran supports Egypt President Mohamed Morsi' s initiative to bring an end to the Syrian crisis politically.

In press statement following a meeting with Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, Abdollahian said "Egypt and Iran have the same position and we all believe that the only solution for the Syrian crisis is a political one."

Also, he commended an invitation that was floated by President Morsi during a recent Arab summit in Qatar to hold a mini-summit to discuss the Syrian crisis.

For his part, Amr warned that "the killing and destruction that take place in a daily basis in Syria will deteriorate the regional situation," stressing that exerting more efforts to put an end to the crisis as soon as possible is in everyone's interest in the region.

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