In brief: Airstrike, car bomb dash Syria truce
BEIRUT – A Syrian warplane flattened a three-story building, suspected rebels detonated a deadly car bomb and both sides traded gunfire in several hot spots across the country Saturday, activists said, leaving a U.N.-backed holiday truce in tatters on its second day.
The unraveling of the cease-fire marked the latest setback to ending Syria’s civil war through diplomacy. Foreign military intervention is unlikely, raising the grim prospect of a drawn-out war of attrition between President Bashar Assad and those trying to topple him.
During the proposed four-day truce, fighting dropped off in the first hours of the cease-fire Friday, but by the end of the day, activists said, 151 people had been killed in bombings and shootings, a standard daily toll in Syria.
On Saturday, the first regime airstrike since the start of the truce reduced a three-story building in the Arbeen suburb of the capital, Damascus, to rubble, killing at least eight men, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which compiles reports from activists.
Suspects planned attacks, police say
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia’s anti-terror squad arrested 11 people suspected of planning a range of attacks on domestic and foreign targets including the U.S. Embassy and a site near the Australian Embassy, police said Saturday.
The suspects were arrested in raids Friday and Saturday in four provinces, national police spokesman Maj. Gen. Suhardi Alius said.
He said the suspects belonged to a new group called the Harakah Sunni for Indonesian Society, or HASMI.
“From evidence found at the scene, we believe that this group was well prepared for serious terror attacks,” Alius said.
Police seized a number of bombs, explosive materials, a bomb-making manual and ammunition, Alius said. They also found a 6.6-pound gas cylinder filled with highly explosive material, which had been assembled at a house in the East Java town of Madiun. Videos and images of attacks on Muslims in various parts of the world were also recovered, he said.