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Massive explosion in Hama could have been a government missile attack on a rebel bomb factory, according to reports.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Arab League on Thursday called for an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss a breakdown of a United Nations-Arab League cease-fire in Syria, where violence after the April 12 deadline continues to surge, CNN reported.
Both regime and rebel forces appear to be increasingly disregarding the cease-fire and six-point peace plan, which was approved by the United Nations Security Council on March 16.
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The Local Coordination Committees, an activist group, reported early Thursday that over 100 people were killed in Wednesday violence. A massive bomb tore through Hama yesterday, which the Associated Press said both sides blamed on each other. At least 16 people were killed, according to a government estimate.
But activists told reporters that the bomb killed 70 people, and the BBC raised the possibility that the explosion was caused by a Scud attack, which would indicate the Syrian government is scaling up the deadliness of weaponry it is using to crush the rebel uprising. The Syrian government said the explosion was the result of a mishap at a rebel bomb factory.
Outcry from the international community over the level of violence, despite United Nations presence, continued to grow. The Washington Post started its editorial on Thursday with, "So far, a U.N. monitoring mission in Syria has had one tangible effect: It has gotten people killed."
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"The observers are not 'changing dynamics,'" the paper wrote, "but providing cover and even targets for the regime of Bashar al-Assad."
The United Nations estimated that over 9,000 people have been killed so far in 13 months of violence. The Syrian National Council, an exiled opposition group based in Turkey, called on the Security Council to meet "so that it can issue a resolution to protect civilians," language that echoes the wording of a Chapter 7 resolution, which can authorize the use of force to protect civilian lives, the BBC wrote.
Below is a video from CNN that shows continued aggressions by both sides, suggesting that the cease-fire has been mostly cast aside.
This is a breaking news update. Please check back for more updates.