Explosion rocks government-held area of Syria's Aleppo

Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:56pm EST
 

By Alexander Dziadosz and Erika Solomon

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Twelve people were killed when an explosion rocked a government -held district of the disputed Syrian city of Aleppo on Friday, a monitoring group said, and both sides in the conflict accused the other of mounting the attack.

State television showed the collapsed side of a building and rubble spilling into nearby streets. A crowd sifted through the wreckage as medics loaded bloodied bodies onto stretchers.

It said the explosion had been caused by a rocket fired by a "terrorist group" - a term it uses to describe the rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Activists said the building in Muhafaza Sakaniya, a government-held neighborhood of a city fought over by the army and rebels for months, had been hit by a military air strike.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded in the explosion.

"The rebels do not have this capability yet," said Hameed Barrasho, an activist in Aleppo speaking by Skype. "We have several reports of a jet in the area before the strike. This is the regime trying to sow more chaos in the city."

Car bombs, rocket strikes and summary killings are now daily occurrences across the country in the 22-month-old conflict and it is often difficult to determine who is behind an attack.

Two blasts at the University of Aleppo killed more than 80 people on Tuesday and each side blamed the other for that attack.   Continued...

 
Rescuers search for casualties at a damaged building after a large blast hit a neighbourhood of the Syrian city of Aleppo January 18, 2013. REUTERS/George Ourfalian