Report: 8 die, 100 wounded in Idlib, Syria

April 30, 2012 at 7:52 AM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, April 30 (UPI) -- Suicide bombers killed eight people and wounded nearly 100 in the northwestern city of Idlib Monday, Syrian officials said.

In other attacks, the officials said, four police officers were injured near a hospital and anti-tank rockets damaged the Central Bank office in Damascus.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported an "armed terrorist group" detonated two bombs near a military compound in Idlib, The New York Times reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group, said more than 20 people were killed in Idlib, mostly government security forces.

Reporting restrictions in Syria make independent verification difficult.

SANA said "an armed terrorist group" targeted a patrol near a hospital, injuring four police officers.

The official news agency said the attack at the Central Bank caused "only material damages."

Reports of the attacks came weeks after a peace plan proffered by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was put in place. Critics said a cease-fire has not succeeded in two of its key goals: stopping the fighting in the bloody revolt against President Bashar Assad and forcing the Syrian Army to withdraw from cities and towns.

If a U.N. monitoring force is is expanded as Annan it will increase from about 15 observers now in Syria now to a full complement of 300 during the next few months. Supporters of the plan said a larger monitoring force will deter violence that has continued since March 2011.

Opposition organizations have said Syrian forces resume attacks after monitors leave and kill pro-democracy protesters who speak to the observers.

SANA reported Syrian officials sent a letter to Annan that listed 1,149 "documented and verifiable [cease-fire] violations, by armed elements," and urged the U.N. Security Council to act "evenhandedly toward violations."

Gen. Robert Mood, the Norwegian head of the U.N. observer forces, said in Damascus Sunday he would "work with all side of the Syrian crisis" to halt the violence, SANA reported.

The United Nations estimates more than 9,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict; other groups said the death toll is more than 11,000.

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