Syria: 2 bombs explode near military offices

This citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, taken on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, purports to show anti-Assad protestors in Aleppo, Syria. Syrian rebels have begun a major operation in the Aleppo region, aiming to strike at security compounds and bases around Syria's largest city, activists said Friday. It would be evidence that weeks of intense bombardments by the Syrian military, including airstrikes, have failed to dislodge the rebels. Instead, fighting rages across the country in a civil war that shows no sign of ending soon. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network, SNN) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS CITIZEN Uncredited

(CBS/AP) AMMAN, Jordan - A car bomb blew up near a Palestinian refugee camp in a suburb of Damascus, killing at least 15 people, Syria's state news agency said Sunday. The blast came hours after the new U.N. envoy to Syria started his peace mission by telling the regime that it bore primary responsibility for ending violence in the country.

State TV has also reported two bombs exploding near the Syrian military's joint chiefs of staff's offices in central Damascus on Sunday. The explosions struck the Abu Rumaneh district of the Syrian capital, wounding four people.

Government officials said the explosion appeared to target a building under construction near the offices of the military's joint chiefs of staff. The building, which was empty at the time of the blast, is a base for army officers who guard the joint chiefs of staff offices, which are located some 200 yards away.

The officials (who insisted on anonymity because they are not allowed to brief the media) said the wounded were army officers.

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SANA said the explosion late Saturday in the suburb of al-Sbeineh also wounded several people and caused heavy damage to buildings in the area.

It blamed the blast on an "armed terrorist group," the term it uses to describe the rebel Free Syrian Army seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, but did not provide further details.

When Syria's unrest began in March 2011, the country's half-million Palestinians at first struggled to remain on the sidelines. But in recent months young Palestinian refugees, enraged by mounting violence and moved by Arab Spring calls for greater freedoms, have been taking to the streets and even joining the rebels.

A Syrian monitoring group based in Britain said Assad's army continued to pound rebel holdouts in Syria's commercial capital of Aleppo, the Central city of Homs, Idlib province on the border of Turkey and suburbs near Damascus.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several people were killed in the violence, but did not have any numbers immediately.

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