President Bashar al-Assad's government blamed terrorists Saturday inside and outside of Syria for dual bombings that struck the country's capital on Friday. But the opposition called the attacks the work of the regime.
The allegations by both sides come amid one of the bloodiest periods during the months-long uprising, raising questions about whether observers from the Arab League arriving in Syria can do anything to stem the growing violence.
More than 5,000 people have died since al-Assad began a brutal crackdown in March on anti-government protesters calling for his ouster, the United Nations has said. The Syrian government has said 2,000 of its soldiers and security forces have been killed in the uprising, which it blames on "armed gangs."
The violent crackdown by al-Assad's security forces against the opposition has garnered worldwide condemnation from the United States, the European Union, the Arab League and Turkey.
The suicide bombings in Damascus came amid a surge of violence this week that claimed the lives of almost 300 people, according to the opposition Syrian National Council.
Funerals were slated to begin Saturday for 44 people killed in the two suicide car bomb attacks a day earlier at the offices of two security branches in Damascus, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement released to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency. At least 166 were wounded in the attack, the ministry said.FULL STORY