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Deadly violence hits Damascus, rebel bastion in Syria

Deadly violence hits Damascus, rebel bastion in Syria

DPA
Damascus
Twin blasts hit a Syrian military bus in Damascus on Wednesday, killing 14 people, state media reported, the deadliest such attack in the city in more than four years.
The Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a military source, said that “around 6:45 this morning (0345 GMT) and as the military bus was passing on the President Bridge it was subjected to a terrorist attack by twin explosive devices that were previously attached to the bus, resulting in 14 martyrs and a number of wounded.”  
The agency earlier reported that the army’s engineering units had dismantled a third bomb planted in the same area. So far, there has been no claim of responsibility. Images on Syrian television showed charred parts of the bombed bus and rescuers putting out a resulting blaze as well as removing body parts from inside the vehicle.
The dead were mostly Syrian soldiers, according to a Syrian military source, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media. The bus usually seats 30 people, the source added.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, reported the blast had killed 14 people and that the toll was likely to increase. “The dead were all military personnel including soldiers and officers,” Rami Abdel-Rahman, head of the British-based observatory, told dpa. Residents in Damascus told dpa the twin blasts caused loud bangs, which echoed across the city and triggered panic.
Residents added that Syrian security forces had imposed tight  measures around the area where the blast took place and started checking the identity cards of passers-by in the area.
Blasts targeting army personnel and civilians in Damascus have decreased since forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad took control of rebel-held areas on the outskirts of the capital. Wednesday’s attack was the worst to hit Damascus since March 15, 2017, when more than 40 civilians died after a suicide bomber blew up his explosive belt in central Damascus, the observatory said.
Elsewhere in the war-torn country, six pro-government militiamen were killed in an explosion at an ammunition depot in Syria’s central cityof Hama, the Observatory said.

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