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Car bombs kill 22 in Idlib, Syria

Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

ALEPPO, Syria, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Car bombs exploded at two traffic circles a mile apart in the northern Syrian city of Idlib, killing 22 people, the government news agency SANA reported.

The pro-opposition group Observatory for Human Rights said 24 people were killed in the blasts Wednesday and that the incidents involved three cars.

The explosions occurred in a part of a province in which Idlib is under government control, with the surrounding area controlled by rebels, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The violence came the day after 82 people died in two explosions on the University of Aleppo campus, and the Syrian Education Ministry called for a day of mourning at the school.

The Observatory for Human Rights said at least 87 people were killed and more than 150 injured when the bombs exploded on the first day of exams at the university, Voice of America reported. The group said there had been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Syrian state media called the blasts a "terrorist attack."

Aleppo, located in northwestern Syria, has been torn by nearly two years of fighting between government forces and rebel groups who control much of the city, CNN reported.

Free Syria Army spokesman Abdulla Yasin said rebels were nowhere near the campus, which is located in a government-controlled area.

The Syrian opposition, the Local Coordination Committees, told Britain's The Guardian fighting has resumed in Aleppo.

The group reported at least 25 people, including three children, were killed in Syria Wednesday.

Russia announced it was suspending consular operations in Aleppo. The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized a Swiss-led request to refer the crisis in Syria to the International Criminal Court, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

"We believe the initiative is untimely and counterproductive for the resolution of the priority task, which is to immediately stop bloodshed in Syria," the ministry said.

The request, signed by more than 50 countries, called on the United Nations Security Council to send the matter to the ICC, which is responsible for genocide and war crime prosecutions.

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