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'Several killed' in Damascus car bombing

Several people have been killed after a car bomb exploded near a police station in Damascus, Syrian state television has reported.

Several vehicles were burnt in the blast in the central Bab Touma district, which has now been shut down by security forces as ambulances attend the site.

The explosion took place as President Bashar al Assad was meeting international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who has called for a temporary truce in Syria's civil war.

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Syria envoy 'attempts to talk peace' with Assad

Lakhdar Brahimi
Lakhdar Brahimi is the joint UN-Arab League special envoy for the Syria crisis. Credit: Ali Jarekji / Reuters

Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus as he bids to secure a temporary ceasefire in Syria's bloody civil war, the country's state television has reported.

The international mediator has now met with both sides in the dispute after calling for the conflict to cease during the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday at the end of this week.

Syria has so far given a guarded response to Mr Brahimi's proposal, suggesting it wants guarantees that rebels would reciprocate any move by Assad's forces.

UN envoy in talks with Syrian officials over ceasefire

Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi (L) in talks with Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Moualem Credit: APTN

The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is holding talks with the Syrian foreign minister in Damascus about brokering a ceasefire in the war torn country.

It is not known whether Mr Brahimi will meet President Bashar al-Assad.

On his arrival in the country Brahimi told reporters: "We will talk about the ceasefire and the Syrian issue in general.

"It is important to decrease the violence - we will talk with the government and political parties and civil society about the Syrian issue."

Brahimi addresses 'very serious' matters with Assad

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has said talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today were "very serious" and "terribly important" in an effort to end the country's 18-month-old conflict.

I have met with President Assad. We talked about this very serious and dangerous crisis which is becoming worse by the day . It is terribly important and urgent to address it in the proper manner. I repeat the crisis constitutes a threat on the Syrian people, on the region as a whole and on the world actually.

I think President Assad is aware more than I do the dimension of this crisis and how danger it is. I informed President Assad that we will try our best and exert all efforts to come up with ideas that will help the Syrians to get out of the ordeal.

I heard from Assad and all Syrian officials that they will help Mr. Lamani who will be based in Damascus to do his job at the best way and succeed in his task.

– International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi

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Chinese state media accuses US of 'sowing discord' over Syria

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Credit: POOL New / Reuters

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi vowed goodwill after talks over Syria which had been preceded by criticism from Beijing of her calls for a multilateral solution to the territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas.

The overseas edition of the state-run the People's Daily laid out China's concerns ahead of their meeting, suggesting America was seeking to gain leverage from China's tensions with Japan and South-east Asian countries.

China backs a "political transition" in Syria to end worsening bloodshed after 18 months of unrest, said Mr Yang, while repeating Beijing's opposition to forceful foreign intervention.

Mrs Clinton said it was "no secret" the US was disappointed by the positions of China and Russia on Syria, and she reiterated that the best course of action remained tough UN Security Council action.

UN chief: Syrian conflict 'intensifying'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says that the job that incoming UN-Arab League mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi has been tasked with is "daunting but not insurmountable."

Speaking at the UN assembly, Moon said:

The conflict is intensifying.

The longer it goes on, the more difficult it will be to contain.

The more difficult it will be to find a political solution.

The more challenging it will be to rebuild the country and the economy.

This is the context in which Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi takes up his duties. I thank him for taking on this task. It is daunting but not insurmountable.

To succeed, he needs your united and effective support to help the warring parties realize that the solution will not come through arms, but through dialogue that respects the universal rights and freedoms of all Syrians.

– Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary-General
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