Twin bombings targeting security service buildings rock central Damascus
Twin blasts have rocked the Abu Rummaneh district in central Damascus. The explosions reportedly targeted buildings in the city’s security area.
“A terrorist attack with two bombs occurred in Al-Mehdi Street in the Abu Rummaneh district,” Syrian state television reported.
A Free Syrian Army brigade claimed the two blasts had targeted the Syrian army’s headquarters, Al Arabiya said. A conflicting AP report said that the bombs struck a building under construction near the headquarters. The building, which was empty at the time of the blast, is a base for army officers who guard the offices of the joint chiefs of staff, located about 180 meters away.
The headquarters had been infiltrated by rebels, who then planted improvised explosion devices inside, AFP reported, citing FSA member Abu Nouri.
Other sources claimed one of the blast also targeted the Defense Ministry building.
The Abu Rummaneh district is home to Syria’s Ministry of Defense, as well as a number of foreign embassies, including those of Denmark, Egypt, India, Iraq, Jordan, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the Vatican.
The district also houses several buildings of the Syrian security services, and the office of Vice President Faruq al-Shara.
Reports suggest that four people lightly injured in the attacks were army officers.
Sunday’s twin bombing inside the capital was the second in recent weeks to hit Abu Rummaneh. On August 15, a bomb exploded outside the Dama Rose hotel where UN observers stayed before ending their mission to Syria. Three people were wounded in the blast, which hit a military compound parking lot.
State media also reported that a car bomb had killed 15 people Saturday near a Palestinian refugee camp in the southern outskirts of Damascus. State news agency SANA blamed an “armed terrorist group” for the attack.
Another bomb targeted an army officer’s car in Damascus on Saturday, killing the officer and injuring others. In a separate incident the same day, one person was killed and two children were injured when a suicide car bomb detonated in the city’s eastern Deir al-Zour province, local media reported.
At least 1,600 people were killed in Syria last week, UNICEF reported, making it the deadliest week yet in the ongoing conflict. A violent uprising engulfed the Arab country over 18 months ago.
A view shows the wreckage after an explosion in Damascus September 2,2012, in this handout photograph released by Syria’s national news agency SANA. (Reuters/SANA)