Suicide car bomber kills 15, brings chaos to Damascus

BEIRUT Mon Apr 8, 2013 8:12am EDT

1 of 5. A view shows wreckage of cars after a suicide car bomb exploded in the main business district of Damascus April 8, 2013, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA .The death toll from a suicide car bomb which exploded in central Damascus on Monday rose to 15, with 47 wounded, Syrian state television said.

Credit: Reuters/SANA/Handout

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - A suicide car bomb exploded in the main business district of Damascus on Monday, killing at least 15 people, setting cars ablaze and damaging buildings, according to state television.

A Damascus resident who described the blast as the biggest she had heard in the capital during the two-year-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad said large plumes of black smoke were rising from the Sabaa Bahrat district.

State television said the explosion had occurred near a school in Sabaa Bahrat, a heavily populated area that also houses the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry. It said 53 people were wounded.

Residents and opposition activists reported hearing gunfire and ambulance sirens in the vicinity. State television said shots had been fired in the air to clear a path for ambulances.

It showed footage of seven bodies in the street, including at least two charred corpses in the wreckage of an overturned bus. The fire brigade was dousing flames from cars crushed by the blast. Other vehicles were still on fire, lined up in what appeared to be a car park.

Men carried away a woman on a stretcher whose face was covered in blood. Panic-stricken women in long black dresses and headscarves ran towards the scene. State television showed some bandaged children in school uniform.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group with a network of local sources, including hospitals, said at least eight people had been killed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but state media blamed "terrorists", a term the government uses for opposition fighters. Opposition groups accused the government of carrying out the attack.

Syrian insurgents based in the outskirts of Damascus have pushed into areas near the government-held heart of the city, stepping up mortar and car bomb attacks in recent weeks.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which started with peaceful protests against four decades of Assad family rule that were violently suppressed. An armed struggle ensued, forcing more than a million Syrians to flee abroad, and displacing millions more inside the country.

(Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (2)
wagyu wrote:
No need for quotes around the word “terrorists”. That word accurately describes the person or persons who did this.

Apr 08, 2013 7:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Fromkin wrote:
Oliver Holmes can not just report that terrorists have detonated a car bomb and killed 15 innocents. He has to add “it brings chaos to Damascus” to add a propaganda twist.

Chaos in Damascus is now the goal western governments and their insurgent allies are trying to achieve.

Terrorists do the job on the ground and the supporting media use their evil work for propaganda.

“There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but state media blamed “terrorists”, a term the government uses for opposition fighters. Opposition groups accused the government of carrying out the attack.’

What claim of responsability. We already know terror attacks are the main weapon insurgents are using to fight the Syrian government.

Apr 08, 2013 9:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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