One dead in Damascus car blast


A car bomb has exploded near the police headquarters in central Damascus, killing at least one person and damaging nearby buildings, Syria’s state-run news agency said.

Residents reported hearing a huge explosion that rattled the Syrian capital just after sunset today. Another explosion was heard shortly after the first, but the nature of that blast was not immediately clear.

A Syrian government official said the first blast was caused by a car bomb in the Fahameh district near police headquarters.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government policy, said the explosion damaged nearby cars and buildings but did not say whether the police headquarters was affected.

The official SANA news agency said one person was killed, and Syrian state TV described the blast as a “terrorist” attack.

The blast is the latest in a series of bombings and suicide attacks targeting security personnel and government institutions as Syria plunges deeper into chaos. Damascus in particular has become a frequent target for car bombs and suicide blasts, but there have been several massive bombings in the northern city of Aleppo and others cities across the country as well.

Syrian authorities deny there is an uprising in the country and blame the conflict on “terrorists” and “armed gangs” acting out a foreign conspiracy to destabilise Syria.

The Syrian opposition denies any links to terrorists, but a Sunni extremist group called Jabhat al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for bombings in the past.

Explosions in the capital have become increasingly common as Syria’s civil war escalates. On August 18, rebels carried out a sophisticated bombing of a regime security building that killed four members of president Bashar Assad’s inner circle.

Last week, four bombs tore through a government-held district in Syria’s commercial and cultural capital of Aleppo, killing more than 30 people and reducing buildings to rubble.