Date: May 01 2012
ATTACKS on the Syrian central bank in Damascus and a security forces building in Idlib killed at least eight people and injured many more, state television reported.
Syrian state television broadcast images of residential buildings and cars damaged by the Idlib explosion and a woman carrying a wounded boy. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of those killed were members of the security forces, putting the death toll at 20.
Gunmen attacked the Syrian central bank in Damascus with rocket-propelled grenades, state television reported, causing no casualties.
''There has been a shift in tactics targeting Damascus with suicide bombers and an increase of assassinations of intelligence officers,'' said Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. ''We are continuing to move in a direction of a slow deterioration.''
The head of the UN mission to Syria arrived in the country on Sunday promising it would ''rapidly'' reach its planned strength of 300 monitors but accepting they could not solve all the problems themselves.
Major-General Robert Mood, an experienced Norwegian peacekeeper, said it was up to the Assad regime and rebel forces to stop the fighting. ''We will be only 300 but we can make a difference,'' he said.
There has been some sign that the presence of the 16 monitors who have arrived so far has made a difference. There have been fewer reports of attacks in the central city of Homs, the centre of the uprising, since two monitors took up permanent positions there last week.
The overall level of violence in the country has fallen, although there are still regular reports of clashes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported five deaths on Sunday.
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