A series of bomb attacks in Syria over the weekend were aimed at “disrupting attempts” to reach a political settlement, Russia said.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings, which took place in Homs and Damascus on Sunday, killing at least 140 people and leaving hundreds of people wounded.
Fifty-seven people died after twin car bombs struck in the pro-government neighbourhood of Zahraa in Homs, according to Syrian state television. The area is home to members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect, making it a frequent target for attacks.
Hours later, four separate blasts rocked the southern Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zeinab, killing at least 83 people and wounding 178, according to the Sana news agency.
On the same day, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Washington and Moscow had negotiated a “provisional” deal on a truce in Syria’s civil war. World leaders had hoped to see a ceasefire take effect last Friday, but could not agree on the terms.
Condemning Sunday’s attacks, the Russia’s foreign ministry said the “barbaric” crimes of extremists aimed to intimidate civilians and “disrupt attempts of reaching a long-term political settlement of the Syrian crisis in the interests of all Syrians”.