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Twin car bombings kill 50 in Damascus town

DAMASCUS:: The explosives-packed cars blew up at daybreak in a pro-regime neighbourhood of the mainly Christian and Druze town of Jaramana, residents, state media and a rights watchdog reported.
The blasts ripped through a central square near a petrol station, one going off as one of the bomb-laden car was driven against the traffic down a main road lined by many people.
There was a ball of fire at the end of a narrow lane, and the impact of the explosions brought walls down onto cars, crushing them and scattering debris over the ground.
Pools of blood and severed body parts were on the streets, said an AFP photographer.
The death toll mounted as the day wore on, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights giving tallies of 20, then 29, 38 and later 54. All of the dead were civilians.
More than 120 people were wounded, and many residents rushed with them to hospital.
“What do they want from Jaramana? The town brings together people from all over Syria and welcomes everybody,” one told AFP.
Jaramana has now been targeted by four such bomb attacks in three months. It is home to predominantly Christians and Druze, an influential minority whose faith is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
Sectarian divides are a key factor in Syria s armed rebellion, with many in the Sunni Muslim majority frustrated at more than 40 years of Alawite-dominated rule.
The uprising erupted in March 2011 with peaceful democracy protests. It transformed into an armed insurgency when the government began a bloody crackdown.
The regime of President Bashar al-Assad, himself from the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam, insists it is fighting foreign-backed “terrorists”.
The failure of international diplomacy has enabled it to press on with its all-out military campaign to crush the rebellion, and the fighting has resulted in more than 40,000 deaths, according to the Observatory.

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