Syria: 'Huge Explosion' Rocks Damascus
Authorities are treating a "huge explosion," reportedly near an intelligence office, as a terrorist attack, reported DW. Damascus has rarely been hit by attacks since government forces captured rebel-held suburbs last year.
A major explosion occurred on Sunday near a military intelligence office in the Syrian capital, Damascus, independent war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on the heels of state media reports.
Although Syria is engulfed by civil conflict, Damascus has rarely been the scene of bomb attacks since government forces recaptured rebel-held suburbs last year. Authorities are treating it as a "terrorist attack," reported the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
What we know so far:
- Shooting erupted in the wake of the explosion
- There were no casualties, SANA reported
- Roads leading to the blast site have been closed off
- The explosion occurred during rush hour on the first day of the working week
In a separate attack, a bomb blast killed three civilians in the northern city of Afrin
More than 300,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since 2011, when government forces launched a brutal campaign against peaceful protesters calling for the release of political prisoners and President Bashar Assad to step down.
The crackdown triggered civil strife, which has since transformed into a multi-faceted conflict that has drawn in nonstate actors, neighboring countries and global super powers, including Russia and the US.
Despite several UN-backed attempts to find a political solution to end the conflict, peace talks have floundered with no end of the war in sight.
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