Damascus bomb kills at least 11

BEIRUT Mon Nov 5, 2012 10:47am EST

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - A bomb attack in a western district of Damascus killed 11 people and wounded dozens more, including children, on Monday, Syrian state media and an activist group reported.

The state television report gave no further details. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based watchdog, said at least 11 people had been killed and 30 wounded by a car bomb in the area known as "Mezzeh 86".

The district, situated on a hilltop near the highway to Lebanon, is mostly inhabited by members of President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite minority, a sect of Shi'ite Islam that has dominated power in majority Sunni Muslim Syria since the 1960s.

Seif al-Sham, an Islamist rebel unit, claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted what it described as a meeting point for the army and police, as well as militia loyal to Assad and known as shabbiha (ghosts).

"The operation was in response to the savage actions of the regime," a statement by the group said.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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