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Suicide Bombs Rattle Syria; 40 Dead

Attacks come as Arab League observers arrive
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2011 5:50 AM CST
Updated Dec 23, 2011 7:45 AM CST
Suicide Bombs Shake Syrian Capital: Report
An injured man stands at the site of a suicide bombing in Damascus, Syria, Friday.   (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

(Newser) – More than 40 people are dead and 100 injured after two suicide car bombings in Damascus, the Syrian government says. The blasts seemed to be targeted against government intelligence buildings, reports AP, and they come a day after Arab League observers arrived amid an increasingly violent government crackdown on dissent. "We said it from the beginning, this is terrorism," said Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad. It's not clear yet who is behind the attacks, though state TV said initial investigations indicated possible involvement by al-Qaeda.

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An opposition leader said he's not so sure. The blasts are "very mysterious because they happened in heavily guarded areas that are difficult to be penetrated by a car." He stopped short of accusing the regime of being behind the bombings but said the government would use them as a pretext for curbing the Arab League visitors' travels. (Read more Syria stories.)

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