By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times –
BEIRUT — Twin bombings struck security buildings in the Syrian commercial hub of Aleppo on Friday, killing at least 25 and injuring 175, Syrian state media reported.
The attacks caused extensive damage to the structures and nearby residences, reported the official Syrian Arab News Agency. State media labeled the strikes “terrorist attacks,” placing responsibility on armed rebels who have been trying to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad.
The opposition denied any role in the bombing. State television broadcast lurid images of bloody corpses and severed limbs at the bombing sites in Syria’s second-largest city.
Damage to the buildings appeared extensive. Aleppo has thus far been spared much of the violence that has ravaged other areas, notably Homs, Syria’s third-largest city 100 miles to the south. Aleppo, like Damascus, the capital, has been considered a stronghold of support for Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for more than 40 years.
Two bombs have previously struck Damascus. Each side in the conflict blamed the other for those blasts. Violence has been ravaging Syria since a protest movement against Assad erupted almost 11 months ago. The violence has increased in recent months. Foreign diplomats have been stymied in working out a settlement to end the bloodshed.