Twin car bombs kill 20 Syrian soldiers

Nov. 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM
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DERAA, Syria, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Twin bombings at a military base in the southern Syrian town of Deraa killed at least 20 soldiers Saturday and wounded dozens more, officials say.

Two cars loaded with explosives blew up within minutes of each other, the BBC reported.

State-run Syrian media did not give details about the blasts, saying only they produced "victims and material damage."

No groups had claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Islamist groups have taken credit for similar attacks in the past.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said Saturday it had documented 88 deaths across Syria Saturday, including five children and two women. Forty-five of the deaths were in Damascus and surrounding area. The London group's figures were not independently verified.

The bombings in Deraa were part of the ongoing conflict between Syrian government troops and rebel forces.

Turkish state media reported Friday that 26 Syrian military officers, including two generals and 11 colonels, had fled across the border, Voice of America reported.

During talks Friday in Qatar between opposition groups discussing a possible merger, George Sabra, a Christian and former communist, was elected leader of the one of the largest groups, the Syrian National Council.

The SNC had not yet decided whether it will join a unified group, the Syrian National Initiative.

Sabra said after his appointment that the talks were just the beginning of a process. He called on the international community to provide arms to rebel groups.

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