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Damascus: Old City blast kills 13 in Syria

Bombing rips through the Syrian capital.

Aleppo bombing 10 03 2012Enlarge
A crater from car bomb explosions that hit the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Oct. 3, 2012. At least 40 people were killed and 90 wounded, most of them soldiers, when three car bombs struck the heart of Syria's second city Aleppo, a monitoring group said. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

An explosion rocked Damascus' Old City today, killing 13 people while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, reported Al Jazeera, citing Syrian state media. 

More from GlobalPost: Syria cease-fire: Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi pushes for end to violence

The bomb detonated outside a police station in the predominantly Christian Bab Touma neighborhood, said the Associated Press

Syrian state news SANA said Assad supported "any sincere effort to find a political solution to the crisis, based on respect for Syrian sovereignty and rejecting foreign intervention."

The president was quoted as saying a solution "must be centered around the principle of halting the terrorism and ... commitment by the countries involved in supporting, arming and harboring the terrorists in Syria to stop these actions."

Brahimi arrived in Syria on Friday after visiting a number of Middle Eastern countries in a bid to unite international efforts behind a solution for the conflict in Syria, which is believed to have taken some 30,000 lives in over a year of violence. 

Former envoy Kofi Annan resigned in frustration after trying to push through a peace plan to implement a cease-fire between Assad and an armed insurrection against his rule. 

Brahimi has called on both sides to lay down arms in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which began Friday. 

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 140 people were killed in violence in Syria on Saturday, reported Reuters

After Brahimi met with Assad he repeated his call for a ceasefire.

"Everyone can start this (ceasefire) when they want, today or tomorrow for example, for the period of the Eid and beyond," Brahimi told reporters at a Damascus hotel.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/121021/damascus-old-city-blast-kills-at-least-10-syria-state