DAMASCUS: An explosion killed at least five people in Aleppo and two blasts hit a Damascus highway today in further signs that rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad are shifting tactics towards homemade explosives.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Humans Rights, which monitors the 14-month-old revolt, said the Aleppo blast wrecked a car wash in Tal al-Zarazeer, one of the poorest suburbs of the mostly middle-class northern trading city.
A member of the rebel Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the bombing, telling Reuters in Beirut that the car wash was used by members of a pro-Assad militia.
“We placed a bomb inside a car,” Ali al-Halabi said, naming the car wash owner and accusing him of raping a woman in front of her husband. “I went to the area afterwards and saw seven bodies and many wounded.” The Observatory put the death toll at five.
On Thursday security forces and students wielding knives attacked anti-Assad protesters at the university in Aleppo killing four and detaining 200.