At least two killed in bombing in Syria's second city

At least two killed in bombing in Syria's second city

At least two people were killed Sunday when a car bomb exploded in the Syrian city of Aleppo, said state media.

The attack injured 30, leaving two of them in critical condition, reported the state news agency SANA, which blamed it on a "terrorist armed group", dpa reported.

The dead were a policeman and a civilian woman, according to the agency.

The explosion, the third in two days, occurred in the mainly Christian district of Al Sulaimanya, security sources said.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported three deaths in the attack. Syrian state television showed footage of buildings whose fronts were damaged, allegedly due to the explosion.

The bombing occurred in the vicinity of two schools and a church, reported the broadcaster.

At least 27 civilians and security personnel were killed on Saturday in two car bomb blasts near security facilities in the Syrian capital Damascus, according to government figures.

Elsewhere, opposition activists said at least 20 people were killed Sunday in violence across Syria, including the bombing in Aleppo.

The bulk of the deaths occurred in the province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey, where government forces attacked anti-regime dissidents, said the activists.

Several districts of the central restive province of Homs came under shelling by government forces on Sunday, added the activists.

Baba Amr in Homs, earlier the scene of a bloody military siege, was one of the areas targeted on Sunday, the activists said.

Troops took control of the district on March 1, following a stand-off with armed opposition rebels. There were no reports about specific casualties caused by Sunday's alleged onslaught.

Activists said the fresh offensive was prompted by the regime's belief that rebels, seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad, have returned to restive areas of Homs.

News from Syria is hard to independently verify as the government has barred foreign media and humanitarian groups from the country since a pro-democracy uprising started in mid-March, 2011. The fresh violence comes as the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, was on his way to Moscow for talks about the humanitarian situation in Syria.

He is to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday, the ICRC said in a statement.

"Mr Kellenberger is visiting Moscow to discuss the ICRC's concerns regarding the humanitarian situation in Syria and to explain the work the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been doing since the beginning of the unrest," added the statement.

Russia, a main arms supplier to Syria, has vetoed two United Nations Security resolutions against al-Assad's regime.

"The humanitarian situation in Homs, Idlib, Hama, Daraa and other areas affected by the unrest (in Syria) remains extremely difficult and could deteriorate further," said Kellenberger.

The UN-Arab League envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan, is meanwhile, gearing efforts to dispatch next week a team to Damascus with the aim of negotiating a possible international monitoring mission.

During a peace mission to Syria last week, Annan put forward proposals to al-Assad that include a halt to violence, securing humanitarian access to civilian areas and initiating inclusive political dialogue.

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