Syrians Attend Mass Funeral for Bomb Victims

Thousands of Syrians attended a mass funeral on Saturday for the 44 people killed in twin explosions that rocked Syria's capital city. President Bashar Assad said that al-Qaida was to blame for the Friday attack, which injured over 100 people. State reports said suicide bombers drove explosive-packed cars into security and intelligence buildings in a posh section of Damascus. The attacks came one day after Arab League observers arrived to help end the country's spiraling crisis and Assad's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad said the attacks bolster claims that the much-publicized bloodshed has affected government's security forces — not civilians. The government has reported that 2,000 members of its security forces have been slain in the popular uprisings that started nine months ago. The United Nations reports more than 5,000 killed in the crackdown.

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