March 15, 2017 / 10:55 PM / 3 years ago

U.N. envoy says Damascus bombings aim to derail Syria peace talks

UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura, arrives to take part in a round of negotiation with opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), during the Intra Syria talks, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Salvatore Di Nolfi/Pool

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, condemned the deadly suicide bomb attacks in Damascus on Wednesday saying they aimed to derail peace talks as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the uprising.

“These attacks have claimed the lives of innocent civilians. They are also plainly designed to spoil attempts to sustain political talks,” de Mistura said in a statement issued in Geneva after Syrian state media reported two suicide bomb attacks killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens more in the capital.

De Mistura, who plans to hold the next round of Geneva talks between the warring sides from March 23, also called for “full respect of the ceasefire, which is being challenged by violations on the ground”.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by G Crosse

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