World Bulletin / News Desk
Two bombs exploded simultaneously on Sunday night next to Syrian army compounds in the northern city of Aleppo, killing and wounding scores of President Bashar al-Assad's forces, residents and opposition activists said.
The bombs targeted makeshift barracks and the military police headquarters, situated in two adjacent sealed off districts in the centre of the city, said several residents and opposition campaigners from Aleppo.
The state news agency said an explosion near a hospital and a school in the Municipal Stadium district killed 17 people and wounded at least 40. Residents said the facilities were used to house soldiers fighting an 18-month uprising against Assad.
"The army had taken over the neighbourhood and emptied it from residents. The hospital was turned into army barracks," said activist Ahmad Saeed.
A woman living near the area said the casualty figure "appeared to be over 100", judging from the number of ambulances ferrying the wounded and dead from the area.
The Noble Aleppo brigade of the Free Syrian Army said in a statement it carried out the Muncipal Stadium district attack, killing or wounding 200 troops. It said the bombs were planted inside the buildings in cooperation with a loyalist sympathiser.
Syrian warplanes earlier bombed a residential district to the east after rebels overran army barracks there, killing and wounding dozens of people and exacerbating a water shortage in Syria's biggest city after a pipeline burst, activists said.
Assad has resorted increasingly to aerial bombardment to keep rebels fighting to overthrow him in check after they took control of residential neighborhoods and made forays into the centre of Aleppo, Syria's commercial and industrial capital.
The uprising has polarised global powers, preventing effective international intervention, and is turning increasingly sectarian with the risk of spillover into adjacent Arab states with similar communal divisions.
Insurgent advances have forced Assad to deploy warplanes, major armoured forces and thousands of troops to prevent the fall of Aleppo, which would free up supply lines to the interior of Syria from Turkey where rebels have sheltered.
Decisive victory has eluded both sides, with rebels lacking heavy weapons needed to down aircraft and knock out artillery and Assad loath to send conscript troops of questionable loyalty into cities to re-establish dominance on the ground.
Instead, government forces have been bombarding population centres to try to turn residents against rebels dug in there, according to diplomats following the revolt.
Sunday's air raid destroyed a residential complex in the Hananu neighbourhood, one of several in eastern Aleppo under rebel control, opposition activists told Reuters by phone.
The death toll was at least five, including one woman, and bodies and wounded people were being dug out from the rubble. Video footage from the area showed scores of people searching and digging in the debris of a flattened building.
On-scene details could not be independently verified due to Syria's severe restrictions on international media access.
WATER CRISIS IN ALEPPO
Aerial bombardment had also wrecked a main water pipeline, causing serious shortages of water in Aleppo, activists added.
A businessman who went from the northwest of the city to Hananu to bury his grandmother - Aleppo's main cemetery is situated in the district - said the ground was shaking with artillery explosions.
"I passed by several (rebel) Free Syrian Army checkpoints. The fighters looked quite relaxed. The army was nowhere to be seen but it was bombing heavily," he said.
In the capital Damascus, the army continued to shell Sunni Muslim neighbourhoods supportive of the revolt against Assad, whose minority Alawite sect has dominated Syria's power structure for decades.
Shelling again struck the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in south Damascus and the adjacent impoverished neighbourhood of Hajar al-Aswad, home to thousands of refugees from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The official Saudi news agency said special prayers were held for the four soldiers in their home towns.
Egypt court refers 11 to mufti for possible death sentences over Port Said football killings
Khamenei said in comments cited by the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday, the concept of Iranian nuclear weapons was a fabrication.
King Abdullah II would meet the presidents of Djibouti; Tanzania; Somalia, and Kenya in the coastal city of Aqaba on Sunday.
Kuwaiti health authorities on Saturday reported a new swine flu fatality
General John Allen is expected to meet later in the day with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, according to a statement by the ministry.
Earlier Saturday, Djiboutian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddin Bamakhrama told that his country had opened its airspace and territorial waters to Saudi-led operation.
A group of Houthis were meeting inside the house at the time of the strike, according to eyewitnesses.
Army spokesman Mohamed Samir said on Facebook that border patrol troops in Sinai had destroyed 69 entry points to underground tunnels on the border with the Gaza Strip
Putting the Sinai-based group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis comes in light of Egypt's recently-approved Terrorist Entities Law issued by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in February.
Two ships collided in the Suez Canal, delaying traffic for several hours on the international route.
Gunmen have attacked the headquarters of the Houthi in the west of Yemen whilst in the southern city of Abyan there were clashes that erupted between local fighters and soldiers loyal to the Houthi group.
Coalition warplanes have struck the eastern province of Marib, targeting a Houthi camp
An Algerian diplomat who has remained anonymous has said that Saudi and Iranian officials were communicating via Algiers with a view to averting further military escalation in Yemen.
Two chlorine bomb were dropped onto Korin village with 17 people taken to hospital.
Local officials fear that the abandonment of the eastern province of Hadramawt will be an opportunity for Al-Qaeda to expand.