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Syria says bomb attack foiled

  |   May 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, May 11 (UPI) -- Syrian security forces Friday foiled an attempted car bomb attack in the northern city of Aleppo, state-run media said.

The Syrian Arab News Agency said the suicide bomber was killed after security forces intercepted a stolen, booby-trapped minibus he had tried to blow up in al-Shaar, a densely populated neighborhood in Aleppo.

State-run television said the minibus contained about 2,640 pounds of explosives, the BBC reported.

Syrian officials blamed "foreign-backed terrorists" for two suicide car-bomb attacks that SANA said killed more than 55 people in Damascus Thursday and injured more than 370.

The BBC said opposition activists in Syria have accused Assad's government of staging attacks, including Thursday's, to try to discredit the regime's opponents.

The government has often blamed foreign-backed terrorists for attacks since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011.

Thursday's explosions damaged a 10-story military intelligence building that is part of the Palestine Branch, a much-feared secret police organization in Syria notorious for interrogations and torture, the BBC said.

The United Nations says at least 9,000 people have died in Syria since the pro-democracy protests began in March 2011.

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