Rescue workers at a bomb blast site in Damascus, Syria. (Photo: Newslook)

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Manya Gupta

At least 40 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in two suicide car bombings in Syria's capital, Damascus, officials say. State TV said suspected al-Qaeda militants had targeted a General Security Directorate base and another security agency in the Kafr Sousa area. But opposition activists said the government had staged the attacks to influence an Arab League observer team. The observers are part of a plan to end the deadly crackdown on dissent. The UN says more than 5,000 people have been killed and thousands more detained since anti-government protests erupted in March. The monitors are tasked with overseeing the government's compliance with an agreement that should see an end to violence by both sides, troops withdrawn from the streets and all detained protesters released. But human rights and opposition activists said the killings continued on Friday, with security forces shooting dead at least 12 civilians. The US state department on Friday condemned the attacks but said they must not deter the Arab League observers from doing their work. Anchor Lisa Mullins talks to the BBC's Lina Sinjab to get more details.

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