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Bomb Blasts Target Govt. Offices in Damascus

Via NYT:
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Suicide attackers detonated two powerful car bombs outside government offices in Damascus on Friday, in what appeared to be the most brazen and deadly attacks against the government since the start of the uprising in Syria in March. Dozens were killed at the State Security Directorate headquarters and another security installation, SANA, the government news agency, reported. The news agency said that while some soldiers were killed, most of the victims were civilians. Faisal Mekdad, the deputy foreign minister, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that 30 people were killed and 100 wounded in the attacks, coordinated within minutes of each other. In a statement, SANA said an initial investigation showed the car bombings “carried the blueprints of Al Qaeda,” though it did not provide any further detail. For months, Syrian officials have consistently portrayed their opponents — peaceful demonstrators and armed rebels alike — as terrorists and thugs, orchestrated by foreign opponents of the Syrian government. In a news conference following the attacks, Mr. Mekdad quickly suggested the attack vindicated the government’s view, as it released an unusual number of graphic photographs and video of the carnage. “We said it from the beginning, this is terrorism,” he said, according to The A.P. “They are killing the army and civilians.”. . .

1. Were these really suicide attacks? 2. The skeptic in me thinks this is Assad bombing his own people to make the case that he's fighting al Qaeda. - Greg Pollowitz

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