Syria's second city Aleppo was hit by a car bomb on Sunday, which killed three people and left at least 25 wounded. Meanwhile, police crushed demonstrations throughout the country.
Syria's third lethal car bomb of the weekend exploded in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, killing three people and wounding at least 25 others, according to the British-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The blast occurred at 12:50 p.m. local time, activists reported.
It came a day after two car bombs detonated in Damascus on Saturday, killing 27 people and wounding 140 others, mostly civilians. The Syrian government blamed all the attacks on what it brands terrorists.
State news channel Syria TV said the "terrorist" attack happened between two residential buildings in the al-Suleimaniya district, behind a post office building. "Their gift to us," said a caption on the screen, followed by a bloody handprint. "Their fingerprints are obvious."
But activists believe the attacks were orchestrated by the regime.
Government forces on Sunday crushed demonstrations marking the first anniversary of the uprising in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that police and military forces shot at protesters in Damascus as well as in the provinces Idlib and Deir al-Zour.
Russia supports Annan
Meanwhile, Russia has come out in support of efforts by the UN's special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, to foster peace. Annan is sending a delegation to Syria to negotiate a possible new observer mission.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told state television in an interview on Saturday that "the Syrian government should quickly, without delay, support [Annan's] approaches."
In remarks unusually critical of its longtime ally, Lavrov said Russia disagreed with many of the decisions taken by Syrian President Bashar Assad as his government tries to put down a year-long uprising.
"I repeat, we do not support the Syrian government. We support the need to start a political process. To do that it is first necessary to ceasefire," Lavrov said.
ng, tj/ncy (Reuters, AP, dapd)