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Huge Blast Kills 70 in Hama

Government, rebels have different stories for what happened
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2012 8:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – A massive explosion rocked Hama today, leveling buildings and, depending on who you believe, either killing at least 16 (Syrian state media's count) or up to 70, including 13 children and 15 women (the rebel count). The sides also have different stories for what caused the blast; rebels say it was the result of government shelling, while the government says it was an accident at a rebel bomb-making factory, the AP reports.

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A BBC correspondent says the level of devastation is too heavy for conventional shelling, though activists have raised the possibility that it could have been a Scud missile. They're urging UN observers to visit Hama to investigate, and calling for an emergency UN Security Council meeting, the AFP reports. The Syrian National Council says more than 100 have died in Hama in recent days, and they want military intervention to protect civilians. (Read more Hama stories.)

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