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Suicide Bombers Kill 14 In Damascus


People inspect the damage following two explosions in central Damascus on June 11 that killed at least 14 people.
Syrian state television is reporting that two suicide bombers have attacked Marjeh Square in central Damascus, killing at least 14 and injuring more than 30 people.

The blasts on June 11 reportedly took place near the Department of Immigration and Passports.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed the explosions but said they were caused by bombs planted in the busy square.

The state-owned Al-Ikhbariya channel showed video footage of badly damaged cars, bloodied pavements, and ambulance workers carrying casualties.

Suicide attacks and bombings, especially attacks on government buildings, have become a relatively regular occurrence in the Syrian capital.

Meanwhile, Austria has begun withdrawing its UN peacekeepers from the demilitarized zone on the cease-fire line between Syria and the Israel-held Golan Heights.

A Defense Ministry spokesman told Reuters the first 60 to 80 Austrian soldiers were due to arrive in Vienna on June 12.

Reporters on the ground say Austrian soldiers had already moved from the Quneitra crossing point to a United Nations base within the Israeli-held part of the heights.

Some 380 Austrian soldiers have been the biggest contingent in the 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force, which has been patrolling the Golan Heights since 1974.

Austria announced it would withdraw all of its soldiers after Syrian rebels battling Syrian government forces last week briefly seized Quneitra in a clash that wounded two Austrian soldiers.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa