Damascus - More than 305 people were killed in the bloodiest day of
Syria's 18-month revolt, a rights group said on Thursday, as Washington
urged action from the "paralysed" UN Security Council.
refugee agency, meanwhile, warned that as many as 700 000 Syrian
refugees could flee the war-torn nation by the end of 2012 as it stepped
up calls for emergency funding.
As fighting raged in several
parts of Syria, unknown attackers blew up an oil pipeline in the
northeast province of Hasaka, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Wednesday was the deadliest day of the Syrian conflict
as more than 305 people died across the country, including 14 in twin
bomb attack against the headquarters of the armed forces in the heart of
Damascus, the Observatory said.
It said 199 of Wednesday's dead were civilians.
is the highest toll in a single day since March 2011. And this is only
counting those whose names have been documented. If we count the
unidentified bodies, the figure will be much higher," said Observatory
head Rami Abdel Rahman.
The previous highest death toll of the
uprising was on 19 July, when 302 people were killed, according to the
More than 30 000 people have been killed
overall in violence since the March 2011 outbreak of the revolt against
the rule of President Bashar Assad, in a toll compiled by the
An Islamist rebel group said its men carried out the
bombings against the headquarters of the regime's armed forces, and five
of its fighters, including a suicide bomber, died during the assault.
Its claim was impossible to verify.
All senior commanders and other officers escaped injury in Wednesday's attack on army headquarters, the military said.
television showed video footage of a white van exploding beside the
military headquarters, and a second blast inside the compound. It said
the bombings came 10 minutes apart, and that 14 people were wounded.
spokesperson for the Free Syrian Army's Military Council in Damascus,
Ahmed al-Khatib, said the attack was staged with two car bombs.
military also said the "terrorist explosions around and inside the army
headquarters were caused by two car bombs driven by suicide attackers".
was the biggest attack on the security apparatus since a 18 July
suicide bombing against a heavily guarded headquarters in Damascus
killed four top regime officials, including defence minister General
Daoud Rajha and Assad's brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat.
Unknown attackers blew up an oil pipeline in the northeast Syrian province of Hasaka on Thursday.
people blew up a crude oil pipeline before dawn in the Umm Madfaa
region in southern Hasaka, causing a large fire. They also kidnapped the
manager of the pumping station," Abdel Rahman told AFP by telephone.
watchdog said plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the scene of
the burst pipeline in Hasaka, the main oil producing region in Syria.
attacks have targeted Syria's oil infrastructure since the uprising
erupted, cutting production in half from pre-revolt levels of 420 000
barrels per day.
In Aleppo city, troops pummelled the southwest
district of Kalasseh and the eastern district of Sakhur and nearby
Suleiman al-Halabi street, leaving an unknown number of casualties, said
The violence followed a pre-dawn rebel attack on
an army checkpoint in the northwest province of Idlib, about 25km south
of Aleppo on the highway to Damascus.
Fighting was also reported
in Homs, Hama city, the coastal province of Latakia and the eastern
province of Deir Ezzor. At least five people were killed on Thursday,
including a child shot dead by a sniper in Hama city.700 000 Syrian refugees
UNHCR chief co-ordinator for Syrian refugees Panes Moumtzsis on Thursday stepped up calls for emergency aid to refugees.
may be up to 700 000 Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries by the
end of the year," Moumtzsis told reporters in Geneva. "We are running
out of time."
Faced with the soaring need for aid, humanitarian
agencies upped their call for funds to €379.2m to sustain operations
until the end of the year.
At present, only $141.5m in funding is available, just 29% of the overall request, Moumtzsis said.
UN children's agency UNICEF also took part in the joint appeal, saying
that more than 50% of the refugees were under the age of 18 and one
fifth were under five.
The raging conflict dominated proceedings at the UN General Assembly in New York.
atrocities mount while the Security Council remains paralysed and I
would urge that we try once again to find a path forward" for the
council to try to end the violence, US Secretary of State Hillary
Her appeal on Wednesday came amid mounting attempts
by Western governments to press Russia and China to ease their
opposition to UN action against the Assad regime.
Minister David Cameron said the blood of children killed in the conflict
had become "a terrible stain on the reputation of this United Nations".
Arab ministers weighed calls for intervention, meeting UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on the General Assembly sidelines.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki told AFP that his country could support an Arab peacekeeping force.