Blast hits Syria's Aleppo near ruling party HQ

BEIRUT Fri May 11, 2012 4:33pm EDT

1 of 15. Demonstrators hold Kurdish and opposition flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad after Friday prayers in Qamishli May 11, 2012. REUTER/Omer Ali/Shaam News Network/Handout

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - An explosion hit Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Friday, close to the ruling party headquarters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The activist group said no one was killed by the blast itself but one guard at the headquarters died, apparently in a round of gunfire that followed the explosion.

"Initial details indicate that the Aleppo blast was targeting the local branch of the ruling Baath party and there is no information until now on the number of victims that fell in the explosion," the British-based group said in an email.

Activists in the city said they heard a very large noise that appeared to come from an area in the heart of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and business hub.

"The sound was so loud and after that there were a lot of echoes of gun fire. Now all the roads leading to Saadallah al-Jabiry square are closed down," said an activist who asked not to be named.

(Reporting by Erika Solomon; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

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Comments (5)
Slammy wrote:
Question, why is Saudi Arabia and Qatar being blamed for the bombings? Home grown terrorist in the United States can build bombs out of fertilizer strong enough to topple federal buildings without outside. They key ingredients are in Syria to do this, they don’t need supplies to blow up intersections.

However, given that the Syrian government announced all efforts to topple the regime ceased on March 31, I’m not convinced this was even a bomb. Maybe it was just a natural gas explosion.

After 40 years of planning for a revolt are we to believe this is the best security the Assad regime has? His forces are pathetic. The country was under control a year and half ago and now armed gangs appear out of nowhere across half the country??? That doesn’t make any sense, these gangs did not teleport in from outer of space. After two months Hom’s still isn’t completely back under control, the retaking of Fallujah in Iraq didn’t take this long. Assad’s father must be spinning in his grave at the incompetence of his donkey son. What a loser the man has grown into.

Go Sunni!

May 11, 2012 9:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Fromkin wrote:
U.S. says attacks could be work of “spoilers”.

Who are the spoilers in Syria?

They are: U.S.,U.K.,France, Turkey,Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

The first three are masterminds looking to topple the syrian government in order to suck the country of its energy resources. They also want to install an islamist puppet regime that would help them use Syria as a transit route for Nabucco pipeline project that’s supposed to compete with russian projects particularly the South Stream almost on the same route.

Turkey, left out by the North Stream and South Stream, is pinning its hope on Nabucco which would make it the storage and distribution hub of the baltic and mediterranean gas to Europe. So Turkey is hoping to become a major energy palyer despite lacking energy resources of its own.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar basically bring money and terrorists. They’re also fighting to impose their rigid interpretation of Islam and preserve their backward regimes. And finally they are being used by the West to contain Iran’s rising power and influence in the M.E.

There you have a coalition of the “willing spoilers” and killers.

May 11, 2012 9:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RobertFrost wrote:
The Anan mission is probably the most unexpected development in an historical event, as any.

Anan is selected despite the fact that his record is one of neutrality, and the people who selected him were far from neutral in the effort to bring down the Syrian government.

The attempt to redress the damage by appointing a hawkish General Mode to lead the unarmed UN monitors in Syria, itself backfired. Not only did he initially resign, but later, he accepted his command, and is acting within the ill-defined mission.

This development is a setback to the Saudi family, the Qatar Sheiks, the so-called ‘Syrian National Council’ and to the bands of armed men, not necessarily commanded centrally by any body, but god and their appalling and bloody interpretation of Islam. It meant that, at some stage, they need to lay down their arms and get on with negotiation with the Syrian government.

Small wonder they opted to fight it out, while swearing on their Qur’an that they believe in Anan and his mission. The technique they use has to be different from that of doing open battle with Syrian troops stationed outside cities and towns. Attacks such as these would be discovered by the UN observers, as many must have, so far. The tactic they increasingly now follow is to kill civilians with stealthily placed bombs and explosive devices.

Over the last six weeks, there has been at least two such explosions happening every day. The last, in Damascus a couple of days ago, was almost a greeting to the Security Council following the delivery of a rather encouraging report by Mr. Anan, written by General Mode!

In fact, no sooner the Security Council meeting ended, then Homs, in central Syria, went aflame…

The US and its EU allies-in-tow would need to work out whether they like to continue to help these assassins or learn from the Afghan experience the US had with Al-Qaeda. An Islamist cannot be your friend when your back is turned!

No? Think 9-11!

May 11, 2012 2:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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