International mediator Kofi Annan condemned the bloodshed in Syria on Wednesday and said it underscored the urgent need for decisive action by world powers to stem the violence and pave the way for political transition.

Annan, joint United Nations-Arab League envoy, said in a statement issued in Geneva by his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi: "The Joint Special Envoy condemns all bloodshed, and violence in all its forms, and believes that today's violence only underscores the urgency of decisive Council action."

A suicide bomber killed three of Syrian President Bashar Assad's top military officials in Damascus on Wednesday, security sources said, the worst blow to Assad's high command in the country's 16-month-old rebellion.

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