At Least 13 Killed, 29 Injured after Car Bombs Rock Central Damascus

Security forces intercepted three auto bombers on their way into the city early on Sunday morning, Syrian state media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

The deadly explosion in Tahrir Square in the centre of the city was triggered by a suicide attacker, who had been surrounded by security forces.

The suicide bomber was driving a auto as authorities chased him at Al-Tahrir square, but he escaped and detonated his explosives.

On March 11, a twin bomb attack targeting mainly Iraqi Shiite pilgrims in Damascus killed 40 Iraqis, and injured another 120 people.

An AFP correspondent at Tahrir Square saw extensive damage to nearby buildings.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. The others, state media reported, were intercepted by security forces, foiling a potentially larger attack.


Footage on state TV from the scene of one.

The authorities said it was one of three auto bombs that were meant to be blown up in crowded areas of the capital on Sunday, the first day back to work from the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said fighting has been raging in Jobar and Ayn Tarma, both neighborhoods in the Eastern Ghouta region east of Damascus.

Footage broadcast another of the blast sites showed what appeared to be the remains of a person and badly damaged vehicles outside a mosque in the Baytara traffic circle near the Old City.

The vehicle bomb went off in the Bab Touma district of the capital.

Mr Assad's forces have struggled to maintain security in areas under their control while continuing to battle rebels seeking to oust Mr Assad as well as jihadi groups that have exploited the war's chaos to seize territory.


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