At Least 18 Reported Dead After Three Car Bombings Hit Damascus

At Least 18 Reported Dead After Three Car Bombings Hit Damascus

At Least 18 Reported Dead After Three Car Bombings Hit Damascus

It said security forces intercepted the two other auto bombs, suggesting they were controlled explosions. Two were destroyed at the Airport Road roundabout area in Damascus, while the third vehicle bomb was surrounded in Bab Touma area.

Damascus Police Chief Mohamad Kheir Ismail said authorities had pursued the suspicious cars after spotting them on the highway.

A suicide bomber has launched an attack in the Syrian capital, with reports saying at least 19 people were killed.

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An AFP correspondent at Tahrir Square saw extensive damage to nearby buildings.

"The terrorist bombings killed and wounded several civilians and caused physical damage to the area", a police official told state news agency SANA.

They said they had foiled a plot to strike crowded areas on the first day of work after the long Muslim holiday that follows Ramadan. That rare assault in the heart of the city, which remains under government control, was claimed by the Islamic State group.

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Battles in eastern Damascus have intensified since last month, when the Syrian army started an operation to retake Ayn Tarma and Jobar from the rebels, who have been excluded from the de-escalation zones' deal last May.

The identity of the jets that carried out the air strike was not known, the Observatory, a Britain-based war monitor, said.

Twin blasts left 74 dead in the capital's Old City on March 11 and were claimed by former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, known before as the Al-Nusra Front.

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