Syrian opposition: 'Assad cannot be part of settlement'

The Syrian opposition coalition says that President Assad cannot be party to any negotiated settlement of the conflict, in a draft communique of a meeting in Cairo seen by Reuters.

The draft does not directly call for Assad's removal but says that the president and the ruling clique must be held accountable for the bloodshed.

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'53 dead' in Damascus blast

At least 53 people have been killed in a large explosion that rocked the Syrian capital Damascus, opposition activists said.