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Activists: Car bombers kill Syrian security men in Deraa
Opposition watchdog says two explosives-laden cars drove into military camp in southern town; detonation of second vehicle caused casualties. New Syrian National Council head urges int'l community to back rebels unconditionally

At least 20 Syrian security men were killed when two explosives-laden cars drove into a military camp in the southern town of Deraa on Saturday, an opposition watchdog said, in what appeared to be a double suicide attack.

 

The first car drove into the camp and exploded, followed by the second vehicle, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement. The detonation of the second vehicle caused the casualties, it added.

 

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Syrian state television reported that two car bombs had gone off at separate locations in Deraa, saying there was "news of casualties among civilians and big material damage in the two places". It did not mention a military target and gave no further details.

 

Islamist terror groups have moved increasingly to the forefront in the fight to topple President Bashar Assad.

  

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Assad in rare interview (Video: Reuters)

 

Al Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-inspired group, claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in Hama province on Monday that the Syrian Observatory said had killed around 50 security men loyal to Assad.

The Syrian government routinely blames foreign-backed Islamist militants for the 19-month-old anti-Assad revolt, in which the Observatory says about 38,000 people have been killed.

 

Meanwhile, the newly elected leader of Syria's main opposition bloc is urging the international community to support those trying to topple Assad's regime without any conditions and not link aid to an overhaul of the opposition leadership.

 

George Sabra, head of the Syrian National Council, said he and other opposition figures are disappointed with foreign backers.

 

Sabra told The Associated Press that "unfortunately, we get nothing from them, except some statements, some encouragement" while Assad's allies "give the regime everything."

 

Hours after his election, Sabra was heading talks Saturday with rival opposition groups on forging a new, broader opposition leadership group. The SNC is reluctant to join such a group, fearing a loss of influence.

 

Sabra, a Christian, spent years in Assad jails and fled Syria a year ago.

 

Reuters, AP contributed to the report

 

 

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