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Damascus blames "terrorists" for petrol station blast watch

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    Syria on Friday said a car bomb at a crowded petrol station in Damascus on Thursday night was set off by "terrorists", a term it uses for rebels seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

    The bomb killed 11 people and wounded 40 at a station packed with Syrians queuing for fuel, which has become scarce in the 21-month insurgency against Assad, in the second petrol station attack in the capital this week, opposition activists said.

    "Terrorists ... blew up an explosive device at Qassioun Petrol Station near Hamish Hospital in Barzeh, Damascus, martyring several civilians," state news agency SANA said.

    The United Nations says more than 60,000 people have been killed in the civil war, the longest, bloodiest conflict born from uprisings across the Arab world in the past two years.

    Dozens of people were incinerated in an air strike as they waited for fuel at another Damascus petrol station on Wednesday, according to opposition sources.

    The semi-official al-Ikhbariya television station aired its own footage from Barzeh, indicating the attack struck a government-held area. Barzeh's residents include members of the Sunni Muslim majority and religious and ethnic minorities.

    The rebels hold a crescent of suburbs on the southern and eastern edges of Damascus, which have come under bombardment by government forces. Rebel forces also seized territory in Syria's north and east during advances in the second half of 2012.

    The war pits rebels, mainly from the Sunni Muslim majority, against a government supported by members of Assad's Shi'ite-derived Alawite sect and some members of other minorities who fear revenge if he falls. Assad's family has ruled for 42 years since his father seized power in a coup.

    Fighting has forced 560,000 Syrians to flee to neighbouring countries, according to the U.N.

    Lebanon, a country which has so far tried to distance itself from the conflict next door for fear it will inflame sectarian tensions, approved a plan to start registering 170,000 Syrian refugees and ask international donors for $180 million (112 million pounds) in aid.

    "The Lebanese state will register the refugees...and guarantee aid and protection for the actual refugees in Lebanon," Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour said after a six-hour cabinet session on Thursday night.

    Most Sunni-ruled Arab states, as well as the West and Turkey have called for Assad to step down. He is supported by Russia and Shi'ite Iran.


    A Lebanese citizen who crossed into Syria through a mountainous frontier region said the army appeared to have withdrawn from several border posts and villages in the area.

    Rebels controlled a line of border towns and villages north of the capital Damascus, stretching about 40 km (25 miles) from Yabroud south to Rankus, said the man, who did not want to be named and visited Syria on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Rebels in the area reported that some of Assad's forces have pulled back to defend the main north-south highway linking Syria's main cities of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, while others were sent to reinforce the northern approach to Damascus.

    "The border is controlled by the Free Syrian Army rebels," he said on Friday, adding he had crossed through mountainous terrain, covered in parts by more than a metre of snow.

    Belarus castigates this ruthless terrorist attack by Syrian rebels. Belarus sees it as the opposition to the Syrian regime being morally bankrupt and willingly bringing about loss of life. Belarus urges the rebels into talks with the Syrian government.

    India mourns the massive death toll incurred by the Syrian tragedy, thus far. This incident only contributes to the sympathies India has for the Syrian people who are suffering the most in this conflict. Regardless of whether the perpertrators of this attack were 'terrorists', India wishes a swift end to the conflict.

    The Swiss Confederation is sceptical of whether this was a terrorist attack, given the political instability of the country and the calls for Al Assad to step down. Nonetheless, we have sympathy with those who lost their lives.

    The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan condemns this brutal terrorist attack on are already unstable neighbours countries infrastructure. We do not tolerate terrorist attacks on our soil or abroad. We hope the matter is dealt with effectively and we send our prayers to those who have died.

    Whilst any civilian casualty is a tragedy, we the US remind the UN that this is the consequence of Assad's dictatorship.

    Brazil mourns the loss of the civilians lost in this recent dispute, along with the some 60,000 already killed; we hope a peaceful solution is sought soon.

    The Russian Federation is monitoring the situation carefully.


    The Kingdom of Spain calls for peace and restraint on both sides. The bloodshed cannot continue.

    Malaysia condemns this volatile act by the Syrian rebels, and insists further violence will only increase the growing death toll.

    The UK condemns this act of terrorism [who ever may have committed it] and urge both sides to lay down arms and engage in dialogue.
    OOC: Probably was the rebels theyre arguably just as bad as Assad.
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