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Deadly bombings rock Syria amid superpowers' failure to reach ceasefire

Several bombings rocked key Syrian cities almost simultaneously Monday, killing at least 48 people, as Russia and the United States fail short of concluding negotiations on a cease-fire in Syria.

The first bombing happened in the central city of Homs at 7.14 a.m. local time (0414 GMT), when a booby-trapped car was detonated after being discovered by government soldiers at a checkpoint at the Bab Tadmur area.

Four people were killed and many others wounded in the explosion.

Had it not been stopped, the vehicle could have caused much heavier casualties if the powerful explosives detonate inside the city, the national Syrian TV said.

The Homs blast also left property damage in an area almost deserted form civilians in that part of the city.

It said the explosion came as authorities and rebels in al-Waer were working to establish reconciliation that might lead to an end to insurgency in the neighborhood, the last rebel-held district inside the city of Homs.

In the coastal city of Tartus, at least 35 people were killed and dozens of others wounded on Monday, in twin bombings that rocked a checkpoint at the city's entrance, said the report.

An explosive-laden vehicle was detonated at the checkpoint of the entrance of Tartus, when it was discovered by military personnel, said the report.

Another explosion followed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt among a crowd who gathered to help the wounded in the first blast in Tartus, said the report.

The suicide car bomber had apparently planned to detonate inside the city but did so at the entrance after he was discovered by the authorities, the report said.

Both bombers, wearing military uniforms, were disguised as members of government troops, the military said.

It wasn't the first time Tartus, once one of the safest cities in Syria, was targeted by explosions.

On May 23, eight bombings were carried out by the Islamic State (IS) militants in the cities of Tartus and Jableh, another coastal city, killing 184 people and wounding at least 200 others.

Also on Monday, an explosive-packed motorcycle ripped through a checkpoint for the Kurdish Assayish security forces in the predominantly-Kurdish city of Hasakah in northeastern Syria, killing eight people.

In the capital Damascus, an explosion rocked a road between the summer resort town of Sabura, and Bajaj, killing one man.

The IS group claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying its suicide bombers detonated themselves at military checkpoints in the aforementioned cities.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned the bombings, saying the terrorist attacks are a continuation of the systematic terrorism practiced by the terrorist groups in Syria.

It urged the UN Security Council to undertake "deterrent" measures against the countries that support the terrorist groups, naming Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and France as patrons of the terror groups.

Internationally, the leaders of the United States and Russia fell short to resolve snags facing an agreement that could bring a ceasefire in the war-torn country.

"Given the gaps of trust that exist, that's a tough negotiation, and we haven't yet closed the gaps in a way where we think it would actually work," U.S. President Barack Obama told a news conference in Hangzhou, China at the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit , following his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Obama said he had instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to continue the negotiations with the Russian side in the hope of reaching a durable ceasefire in Syria.

Both powers had previously agreed on ceasefires in Syria, but such truces were quick to fall apart.

Observers here believe that a robust agreement between both powers could be conducive in bring the violence in Syria to a pause, and hopefully to a long-run pacification.

[Source: Xinhua, Damascus, 05Sep16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 06Sep16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.