Syria closed universities and suspended classes for college students across the country today as the death toll from two massive blasts that ravaged a campus reached 87.
It remains unclear what caused the blasts in the city of Aleppo, which hit the campus as students took exams. It set cars alight and blewthe walls off dormitory rooms.
Rebel activists claimed that a government warplane carried out two air strikes on the university. But they could not explain why the government would strike an area controlled by its own forces.
However, Syria's state news agency Sana said that a "terrorist group" had fired two rockets at the university from an area further north.
Syria's Ministry of Higher Education suspended classes and exams at all Syrian universities, "in mourning for the souls of the heroic martyrs who were assassinated by the treacherous terrorist hand," the news service reported.
Minister for higher education Mahmoud Mualla said that President Assad had ordered the reconstruction of Aleppo University "with the utmost speed."
Aleppo has been the focus of a violent struggle for control since rebel forces, mostly from rural areas north of the city, began clashing with government troops last summer.
Those killed in Tuesday's blasts were mostly students taking their mid-year exams and civilians who had sought refuge in the university dormitories after fleeing violence elsewhere.
Syrian UN ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told a security council meeting on Tuesday that 82 students had been killed and 152 others wounded.