Syria asks deserters to come home as bomb blasts kill 8
Government vows all citizens welcome back, whether they left 'legally or illegally'
Syria's government is calling on hundreds of thousands of citizens who fled the country during the civil war to come home, as a prominent British-based human rights group reported Friday that two car bomb blasts killed eight people.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two cars packed with explosives blew up near a military intelligence building in the town of Quneitra in the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan Heights. Eight people were killed. Most of the dead were members of the Syrian military, the Observatory said Friday. The group relies on reports from activists on the ground.
The Syrian government has not confirmed the attacks.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the blasts.
Amid the violence, the state-run SANA news agency said the government will help citizens return, whether they left "legally or illegally." Syrian opposition figures who want to take part in reconciliation talks will also be allowed back, SANA reported late Thursday.
Opposition rejects Assad's offer
The talks are part of Assad's initiative to end the conflict, which has claimed more than 60,000 lives. The opposition has rejected the initiative, insisting Assad must step down.
More than half a million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries during the 22-month civil war. They include opposition activists and defectors, including army officers, who have switched to the rebel side, fighting to topple Assad.
Car bombs and suicide attacks targeting Syrian troops and government institutions have been the hallmark of Islamic militants fighting in Syria alongside rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad.
At least 60,000 people have been killed in the nearly 2-year-long conflict.