Powerful blast rocks Damascus

2013-04-30 12:08
(AFP)

(AFP)

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Damascus - A blast in the central Damascus district of Marjeh on Tuesday killed at least 14 people, Syrian state television reported, a day after a Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi survived a bomb attack elsewhere in the capital.

"The number of casualties in the cowardly terrorist blast targeting the commercial and historic centre of Damascus in the Marjeh district rose to 13 martyrs and more than 70 injured," state television reported, citing the interior ministry.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported "14 dead, including nine civilians and five members of the security forces, in a car bomb attack near the old interior ministry headquarters".

The toll could rise further because a number of the wounded were in critical condition, the monitoring group said.

"Internationally-financed and -supported terrorism committed a terrible massacre against civilians in the commercial and historic centre of Damascus," state television reported, citing an official source.

Chaos

Official channels broadcast footage showing smoke billowing over the site of the explosion, which blew out the windows of nearby cars, knocking off the bumpers some and starting fires.

Uniformed and armed plainclothes security forces could be seen running near the scene, as residents fled.

Several mutilated bodies could be seen lying in the street, and at least one body wrapped in a white sheet was laid out alongside an ambulance.

Fire engines were at the scene with firefighters battling several blazes.

"What mistake have we committed? I was going to work. Look at the bodies. Is this the freedom they want?" a bystander said to state media.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

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