Two explosion hit northern Syrian city of Aleppo

BASSEM MROUE Associated Press Published:

BEIRUT (AP) -- Two explosions targeted security compounds in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Friday, state media said, causing an unspecified number of casualties in a major city seen as key to President Bashar Assad's grip on power.

State-TV said "civilians and members of the military were martyred and wounded in the terrorist explosions that targeted Aleppo." It added that the targets of the blasts were a compound of the Military Security Directorate and another of a police force.

The blasts were the first in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, which has been relatively quiet since the uprising against Assad's regime erupted in March. Aleppo, which is close to the Turkish border, is an economic powerhouses.

On Jan. 6, a suicide attack in the capital Damascus killed 26 people. Two weeks earlier 44 people were killed in a twin suicide bombings that targeted intelligence agency compounds in Damascus.

Assad's crackdown has killed more than 5,400 people since the uprising began in March.

The government blames the unrest on a foreign conspiracy by Israel and the West. It says armed gangs and terrorists are behind the uprising, not protesters seeking democratic change.


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