Damascus bombing - Reuters - January 6 2012
People gather around damaged cars at the site of an explosion in the Maidan district of Damascus January 6, 2012, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. Photo by Reuters
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Members of Syria’s opposition demanded an independent investigation on Saturday of a suicide bomb attack on the previous day which killed 26 and wounded 63.

The opposition has casted doubts on the reports regarding the attack. The al-Arabiya channel televised photos of a Syrian news correspondent scattering bags near the site of the attack. The correspondent claimed later that the bags belonged to the victims of the bombing.

According to the opposition, eyewitnesses in the Maidan neighborhood reported that tens of ambulances were in the area approximately three hours prior to the initial reports of the bombing. They added that state-run news crews began their on-site coverage of the attack almost immediately after it occurred.

Furthermore, opposition sources said that some of the photos distributed yesterday were from an attack that occurred two weeks ago in Damascus, on the day of the Arab League observer mission’s arrival in the country.

The opposition believes that the government’s claim that they are responsible for the attack is dubious, and an attempt of the regime to stifle dissent within Maidan. Moreover, they claim that while the Syrian government claimed that most of the wounded were civilians, the attack struck a bus that was carrying security forces that were on their way to suppress anti-government protests that were planned for Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, thousands of government supporters gathered in mosques across Damascus for the funerals of the dead, and called for the removal of the Arab League monitors from the country. The Arab League is slated to convene an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday, where they will discuss the possibility of withdrawing the observers from Syria as the regime’s violence against anti-Assad activists continues unabated.