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U.N. council condemns Aleppo attacks as rebels down helicopter gunship

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The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously condemned what it described as “terrorist attacks” in the Syrian city of Aleppo earlier this week, a series of coordinated suicide bombings which killed 48 people in the northern metropolis.

“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Aleppo, Syria on 3 October, causing dozens of deaths and over one hundred civilians injured, responsibility for which was claimed by the Jebhat al-Nusra group affiliated with al-Qaeda,” the 15-nation council said in a non-binding statement, according to Reuters.

Car bombs exploded on Wednesday near a military officer’s club and outside a gate to Aleppo’s Old City, killing dozens of people and wounding more than 100 in Syria’s second largest city.

The city has been a focal point of bitter fighting between Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying to oust his regime.

Meanwhile, Syrian rebels downed a helicopter gunship on Friday in eastern Damascus province, home to some of the rebel Free Syrian Army’s fiercest and best organized battalions, a monitoring group said.

“It emerged that the rebels downed a helicopter gunship over the town of Saqba in the Eastern Ghuta area,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Initially, the Observatory had reported that the aircraft was a fighter jet.

As many as 55 people have been killed by the fire of Syrian forces across the country on Friday, the Observatory said.

Thousands of people demonstrated across Syria on Friday despite ongoing violence, calling for the arming of the rebel Free Syrian Army and condemning the international community’s inaction, monitors reported.

In Hama city, protests were held in several districts despite the deployment of security forces, who arrested 20 demonstrators, the Observatory said, according to AFP.

The Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page posted the slogan: “We want weapons, not words, to protect our children from the killing,” holding up portraits of U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Arab League head Nabil al-Arabi.

In the Kurdish town of Kubani in the northern province of Aleppo, hundreds of people, mostly children and teenagers, marched carrying Kurdish flags and the colors of the revolt in Syria, in amateur videos posted by activists on YouTube.

In Kfar Nabal, a town in the northwest province of Idlib, demonstrators marched behind a banner reading: “(U.S. President Barack) Obama and his coward NATO have taught all the world’s rulers the art of telling lies skillfully.”

“The people demand the arming of the FSA (Free Syrian Army)!” hundreds of men chanted outside a white mosque in Halfaya in the central province of Hama while holding the green, white-black-red flag of the revolt.

Protesters in in the town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib formed dancing lines, moving to the beat of a drummer and singing “Syria! Freedom!” as children skipped back and forth.