Syria bombers aimed to ruin peace talks:UN


The UN special envoy for Syria has condemned the latest “terrorist attacks” in Damascus on the sixth anniversary of the Syrian conflict, saying they are “plainly designed to spoil attempts to sustain political talks”.

Staffan de Mistura said in a statement the attacks claimed the lives of innocent civilians and again urged respect for the ceasefire in Syria, which “is being challenged by violations on the ground”.

He also called for an end to all attacks on civilians.

Suicide bombers struck the main judicial building and a restaurant in the Syrian capital on Wednesday, killing at least 31 people.

De Mistura announced a week ago he intended to bring the government and opposition back to Geneva for a fifth round of UN-led talks on March 23 to pursue an agreement on a transition to end the long conflict.

The first suicide bomber targeted the Palace of Justice, the main courthouse in central Damascus near the Old City.

The second suicide blast struck a restaurant in the al-Rabweh area of Damascus to the west of the first attack, causing several casualties.

The courthouse bomber set off his explosive device in the early afternoon as the police tried to search him and stop him entering the building, state television cited the Damascus police chief as saying.

Ahmed al-Sayyid, a senior state legal official told state-run al-Ikhbariya TV, said 45 people had been wounded.

On Saturday, scores of people, most of them Iraqi Shi’ite pilgrims, were killed in a double suicide attack in Damascus claimed by an alliance of jihadist groups known as Tahrir al-Sham.

In late February, an attack also claimed by Tahrir al-Sham killed dozens of people with co-ordinated shootings and suicide bombs that targeted two security headquarters in central Homs and led to the death of a senior official.

Originally published as Syria bombers aimed to ruin peace talks:UN



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