Blast in Syria kills at least 13
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A taxi rigged with explosives blew up near a police station in the Syrian capital Sunday, killing at least 13 people even as the UN envoy to the nation's crisis was visiting Damascus to push his call for a cease-fire in talks with President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria's SANA state news agency said 29 people were also wounded in the blast in the Bab Touma neighborhood, a popular shopping district largely inhabited by Syria's Christian minority. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday's blast, but Islamist groups fighting alongside the rebels have claimed to be behind bomb attacks against security targets in the capital.
Two Syrian officials speaking from the scene said the taxi blew up 50 yards from Bab Touma's main police station. SANA put the death toll at 13, while the anti-regime Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 10 people were killed in the blast.
Meanwhile UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with Assad as part of his push for a cease-fire between rebels and government forces for the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, commencing October 26.
Following a closed-door meeting Brahimi told reporters that he met earlier with Syrian opposition groups inside and outside the country to discuss his truce plan. He said he received "promises'' but not a "commitment'' from them to honor the cease-fire.
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