News24

Blast rips through Damascus

2012-04-02 12:04

Damascus - A blast ripped through central Damascus near a hotel and a police station on Monday, injuring at least four people and damaging shops, official Syrian television Al-Ikhbariya and witnesses said.

"A bomb exploded loudly near the Hotel Kinda" in busy Marja neighbourhood in the centre of the capital, the television said.

"Four people were slightly hurt and shops damaged," it added.

Witnesses said the explosion occurred near a police station in Marja and that the area had been cordoned off by security forces. Ambulances were seen at the site of the blast.

Bombings have hit Syria's major cities in recent months, provoking mounting concern that al-Qaeda has taken advantage of the uprising against President Bashar Assad.

According to UN estimates, more than 9 000 people have died in the regime's crackdown on the uprising that began in March last year, inspired by Arab Spring protests that toppled long-time dictators in Tunisia and Egypt.