2 Bombs Rock Damascus; 27 Dead
Violence returns to Syrian capital, suburbs
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2012 5:52 AM CDT
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, security officers inspect the blast area in front of a damaged building of the air intelligence forces in Damascus.   (AP Photo/SANA)
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(Newser) – Two car bombs rocked Damascus this morning around 7:30 local time, killing civilians and security forces, report al-Jazeera and AP. State media reports 27 dead and more than 100 injured. One bomb hit the criminal security department and the other the aviation intelligence department. The usual blame game unfolded: The government said the explosions were the work of terrorists, but rebel groups said the bombs were the work of the government, done to discredit the opposition.

The explosions followed renewed fighting around the capital yesterday, as violence returned to the Damascus suburbs for the first time since early February, according to the AP. The Syrian government had been reporting it was on the verge of crushing the rebels, but the new fighting shows its struggles to conduct offensives in more than one area at a time. "Every time the regime controls a specific area we witness clashes in new regions," said one activist. Syria's foreign minister, meanwhile, sent a letter to the UN Security Council yesterday saying the crackdown would continue.