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Russia closes Aleppo consulate after twin blasts

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 06:38 hrs

Damascus: The Russian consulate in Syria's Aleppo city has suspended operations, said the Russian foreign ministry. This follows the twin blasts that killed 80 people in the city Tuesday.

At least 80 civilians were killed and many more injured by two blasts in Aleppo University Tuesday, Aleppo Governor Mohammed Wahid Akkad said. The toll was confirmed by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The monitoring body said the cause of the explosions was unclear, but the city has previously been hit by government air strikes as well as rebel car bombs.

"The operations of the Russian Federation's Consulate General in Aleppo have been suspended," the Russian foreign ministry statement said. "Regarding all issues, contact the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Damascus."

Aleppo, Syria's largest city, 340 km from capital Damascus, has been the scene of months of vicious fighting between government forces and rebel groups.

Most of Aleppo city is controlled by the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group. The city's residents are suffering shortages of food and electricity.

At least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since March 2011, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said, citing new analysis released by the United Nations in early January.





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