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Bombs explode in Damascus

June 11, 2013 at 10:09 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, June 11 (UPI) -- At least 14 people were killed and 31 injured Tuesday in a double bomb attack in al-Marjeh Square in Damascus, Syria, officials said.

Syrian state news agency SANA said two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a police station. Syriaonline.sy, quoting a police source, said the devices were placed in front of shops in the square.

The bomb victims were among 130 people the Syrian Network for Human Rights in London said died throughout the civil war-torn country Tuesday. The group, which opposes the regime of President Bashar Assad, said the death toll included 61 members of the Syrian Free Army rebel forces, nine children and nine women.

The Damascus attack occurred as Syrian army forces began a major offensive against rebels in Aleppo, Gulf Daily News reported.

Syrian army units pushed back rebel forces that attempted to target the Aleppo Central Prison, also attacking rebel positions nearby, SANA said.

Syrian army units prevented rebel forces from entering the Mennegh Airport about 18 miles outside the city and destroyed cannons and heavy machine guns used by rebels to fire at soldiers, the news agency said.

Inside Aleppo, clashes between army and rebel forces were reported in a number of neighborhoods. SANA said soldiers killed a number of rebels on the Homs-Damascus road and also captured large amounts of ammunition and weapons in a tunnel and confiscated "stolen medical equipment, drugs and weapons" found in a nearby field hospital. Other clashes were reported in areas around Damascus.

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