Bombings in Damascus, southern Syrian city kill 16

BEIRUT Wed Nov 6, 2013 6:09pm EST

1 of 2. People gather around wreckage after a car bomb in Suweida city, November 6, 2013, in this handout picture released by Syria's national news agency SANA.

Credit: Reuters/SANA/Handout via Reuters

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - A car bomb killed at least eight security personnel in a rare attack on a military intelligence headquarters in the southern Syrian city of Suweida on Wednesday, and a separate blast killed eight people in Damascus.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the car bomb in Suweida, which had largely spared violence in Syria's civil war, had also wounded dozens.

The Observatory's head, Rami Abdelrahman, said a major - earlier identified as a colonel - was among security officers killed in the blast at the regional Air Force Intelligence headquarters. He was believed to be the head of the branch and locals told the Observatory a second officer may also have died.

Local opposition activists said a suicide bomber had sped through a checkpoint outside the headquarters and blown up his car. Rebels then tried to storm the building and clashes erupted, they said, killing several opposition fighters.

A photograph uploaded by activists showed a thick column of smoke rising above the Suweida skyline.

The state news agency SANA said the Suweida blast wounded 41 people but made no mention of the target, saying only that a "terrorist" car bomb had hit a square in the city.

State media often use the word terrorist to describe rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad in a struggle that has cost well over 100,000 lives since it began in March 2011.

The government-controlled Suweida region is home to many Druze, who have mostly stayed neutral in the conflict, although some have joined paramilitary forces supporting Assad.

Earlier in the day, SANA said an improvised bomb had exploded in Hejaz Square in the crowded heart of Damascus, killing eight people and wounding at least 50.

The British-based Observatory, which has a network of activists across Syria, put the toll there at seven dead and at least 20 wounded. It cited conflicting reports from activists as to whether the explosion was caused by a bomb or a mortar shell.

Rebels have seized a ring of suburbs outside the capital but the army has blockaded these areas to try to keep central Damascus secure. Insurgents have resorted to improvised bombs to strike security and political targets in government-held areas.

Damascus residents reported seeing a mortar bomb land near the army's General Staff headquarters in Umayyad Square, a big road intersection, on Wednesday. They had no word on casualties.

(Reporting by Erika Solomon and Oliver Holmes; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Comments (7)
mcanterel wrote:
Terrorism of the kind NATO,Reuters, and … slammy advocate.

Nov 06, 2013 9:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
JackHerer wrote:
@mcanterel – why do you pretend reality is different that it is? Are you genuinely so naive and gullible to believe that NATO and Reuters advocate acts such as this? They don’t is the clear and unequivocal answer.

What is “terrorism” though mcanterel? Surely it is bringing terror to innocents. Then who is the greater terrorist in the Syrian conflict if it isn’t Assad himself? Assad has brought shocking terror onto the entire Syrian people, all because he wants to selfishly cling to being a dictator. Assad’s forces gas children to death in their hundreds – among other horrific acts that the U.N. has documented them doing (the Russian and Syrian regimes have been mysteriously silent on that “evidence” they claimed they had to exonerate Assad).

Pointing out that Assad is by far the biggest terrorist in Syria, isn’t advocating terrorism, it is being realistic as to who is to blame for the terrible situation in that country.

There were no car bombs in Syria when the people took to the streets in their thousands wanting freedom. Car bombs have come as a response to Assad’s brutality and oppression against those peaceful protesters.

If you want someone to therefore blame mcanterel, then you clearly need to blame the man who has undoubtedly brought this terror to the Syrian people; Assad.

I hope you are not too naive nor stupid to realize that mcanterel.

A word of advice; don’t take as gospel what cruel foreign dictators tell you, because they are playing you like a fool if you do.

Nov 06, 2013 10:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
KyleDexter wrote:
@mcanterel, your right on the mark.

Nov 06, 2013 10:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
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