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A damaged Syrian Army tank belonging to forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is pictured after clashes with the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo October 2, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Shaam News Network/Handout
Wed Oct 3, 2012 2:52am EDT
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Two car bombs exploded on a main square in a government controlled central district of Syria's second city Aleppo on Wednesday morning, a pro-government television channel said.
Al-Ikhbariya TV said the bombs detonated in Saadallah al-Jabari Square in western Aleppo, Syria's largest city which has now been split in two with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad mainly in the west and rebel fighters in the east.
Fighting only with light weaponry, rebels have resorted to bomb attacks in areas still controlled by Assad. Several large protests in support of the president have been held in Saadallah al-Jabari square.
A pro-Assad Lebanese paper reported on Tuesday that Assad was visiting Aleppo to take a first-hand look at the fighting and had ordered 30,000 more troops into the battle. It said Assad would remain in the city.
Opposition activists say 30,000 people have been killed in the 18-month-old anti-Assad uprising, which has grown into a full-scale civil war.
For much of the revolt, Assad has retained a grip on Aleppo with many rich merchants and minority groups there, fearful of instability, remaining neutral while protests spread.
Rebels mounted a new offensive last week to seize the city, and over the weekend fires started by the combat gutted the historic market in the Old City, a world heritage site.
(Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Jon Hemming)
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