The Local Coordination Committees of Syria reported at least 21deaths on Sunday, including eight in Hama, three in Homs, three inDaraa, two in Deir Ezzor, two in Idlib, two in the Damascus suburbsand one in Aleppo. Damascus and Aleppo have been the scene of a flurry of attacks inrecent months. Aleppo, a commercial center and long a bastion ofsupport for al-Assad, had been largely spared in Syria’s 14 monthsof bloody uprising. But recent protests and violence there couldsignal a significant shift. Some analysts said recent attacks raise concerns about the presenceof jihadist elements in Syria, noting Thursday’s Damascus strikesresemble suicide car bombings during the sectarian violence in Iraqin the past decade. Swing Barrier
But opposition groups have said the regime is responsible for theviolence that erupted after government forces began a crackdown onpeaceful protests in March 2011. That fierce clampdown spurred agrassroots uprising against the regime. The opposition Syrian National Council said al-Assad’s regimestaged Thursday’s deadly suicide bombings in Damascus “to spurchaos, disrupt the work of the international observers and divertattention away from other crimes being committed by its forceselsewhere.” “In orchestrating such acts,” the council said Friday, “the regimeseeks to prove its claims of the existence of ‘armed terroristgangs’ in the country that are hindering its so-called ‘efforts ofpolitical reform.'” The deadly blasts in Damascus took place near a militaryintelligence center. But the SNC questioned how the attackers could have made it pastsecurity to conduct the bombings. Swing Barrier
More than 1,000 people have died since a cease-fire was supposed togo into effect on April 12, according to the LCC. CNN cannot independently verify reports of deaths and violencebecause the Syrian government has severely restricted access tointernational media. A team of U.N. monitors is on the ground to observe the progress ofthe cease-fire and encourage the implementation of a U.N.-backedpeace plan. Long Range RFID Reader
On Saturday, the head of the U.N. observer mission, Maj. Gen.Robert Mood, said 157 civilian and military monitors were in theprovinces of Daraa, Idleb, Hama and Homs, the state-run Syrian ArabNews Agency reported. About 300 observers are expected withinweeks.
more armored Jeeps and another 13 more, bringing to 25 the numberof vehicles to arrive on Saturday, all offered by the EuropeanUnion. CNN’s Kamal Ghattas, Saad Abedine and Salma Abdelaziz contributedto this report.