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Ban Condemns Damascus Attacks

A bus is damaged after an explosion in the Maidan district of Damascus on January 6.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the bombing in Damascus which Syrian officials say killed 26 people and wounded 63.

Ban expressed "grave concern" over the deteriorating situation in Syria.

"I remain gravely concerned about the deteriorating situation in Syria, where thousands have lost their lives since March last year and people continue to be killed each day," Ban said in New York.

It was the second such attack in Damascus in more than two weeks.

On December 23, at least 44 people were killed in what Syrian security officials said was a double suicide bombing attack on security buildings in the Syrian capital.

The latest attack comes two days before an Arab League committee wass due to discuss a report by Arab observers who are monitoring whether President Bashar al-Assad's is complying with an Arab League plan to end the crackdown on nearly 10 months of unrest.

Members of the opposition Syrian National Council have called on the UN to help the Arab League monitors, who they say have failed to stem the government crackdown on civilian protesters.

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who heads the Arab League committee on Syria, has said the monitor mission had "made some mistakes," but ruled out pulling them out.

compiled from agency reports