Mar
17

Deadly explosions rock Damascus, says Syrian TV

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Twin ‘terrorist’ blasts killed civilians and members of the security forces, state media reports

Two explosions struck security targets in the Syrian capital on Saturday morning, killing civilians and members of the security forces, the country’s state news agency said.

The report said preliminary reports indicated the “terrorist” blasts were caused by car bombs that hit the aviation intelligence department and the criminal security department.

The blasts took place two days after the first anniversary of year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, in which the United Nations says more than 8,000 people have been killed.

Syria has seen a string of suicide bombings, the last major one on 10 February when twin blasts struck security compounds in the government stronghold city of Aleppo, killing 28 people.

Damascus, another Assad stronghold, has had three other suicide bombings since December.

The regime has touted the attacks as proof that it is being targeted by terrorists. The opposition accuses forces loyal to the government of carrying out the bombings to tarnish the uprising.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the latest explosions in Damascus.

In recent weeks Syrian forces have waged a series of heavy offensives against the main strongholds of the opposition Homs in central Syria, Idlib in the north and Daraa in the south.

In the assaults, the regime has seemed to depend on select units and has relied heavily on the minority Alawite sect, to which Assad and the ruling elite belong. That may be out of worries over signs that some Sunni army conscripts have refused to fire on civilians.

Sunnis are the majority in the country of 22 million and make up the backbone of the opposition.

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