x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Syrian suicide bombers target security forces, killing more than 30

The blasts come on the first day of the Arab League observation commission's trip to the country torn by violent anti-regime protests.

DAMASCUS // More than 30 people were killed in twin suicide bombings against security service buildings in Damascus on Friday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad said.

"There are more than 30 dead and more than 100 wounded in today's two attacks," Meqdad told reporters at one of the bomb sites.

"On the first day after the arrival of the Arab observers, this is the gift we get from the terrorists and Al-Qaeda," he added, referring to an Arab League mission intended to oversee a plan to end nine months of bloodshed.

"But we are going to do all we can to facilitate the Arab League mission," Meqdad added.

"The terrorists wanted the first day of the observer mission in Damascus to be a tragic day but the Syrian people will stand strong in the face of the killing machine supported by the Europeans, the Americans and some Arab countries," he said alluding to Western support for the opposition.

He was accompanied to the bomb site by League assistant secretary general Samir Seif al-Yazal, head of the observer mission's advance team which arrived on Thursday.

"We are going to press on with our work," Yazal told reporters.

"We have started today, and tomorrow (Saturday) we will meet (Foreign Minister) Walid Muallem."

Yazal offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the bombings. "What has happened is regrettable but the important thing is that everyone stay calm," he said.