Car bomb in Damascus suburb kills seven

Turkish teenager dies after being hit by stray bullet near Syrian border

A man points towards a burning car, caused by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus. Photograph: Bassam Khabieh/Reuters.

A car bomb killed at least seven people and wounded 62 when it exploded on the edge of the Syrian capital Damascus today, state media reported.

State news agency SANA said the bomb hit the al-Siyouf Square in Jaramanah. It blamed “terrorists”, a term the Syrian government uses for rebels who are fighting a two-year-old civil war against president Bashar al-Assad.

Bombs have previously hit Jaramanah, a religiously mixed area that houses supporters and opponents of Assad but which is under army control.

After rebel gains around the country, the army has pushed back in recent weeks and reinforced the capital while rebels hold outlying areas. The insurgents use mortars and car bombs to hit areas still held by the government.


The United Nations says nearly 100,000 people have been killed in the war, which started with peaceful protests against four decades of family rule but turned violent in the face of a security crackdown.

Separately, a 15-year-old Turkish boy died last night from injuries sustained last week when he was hit by stray bullets from Syria during clashes between Kurdish fighters and Islamist rebels near the Turkish border.

Fighting in the border area has fuelled fears in Ankara about violence spilling from Syria's civil war into Turkey, and prime minister Tayyip Erdogan called a meeting with his military and intelligence chiefs and senior cabinet ministers on yesterday to discuss the unrest.

The town of Ras al-Ain in northeastern Syria has seen intense clashes between Democratic Union Party (PYD) fighters, a Syrian Kurdish party with links to Kurdish militants in Turkey, and Islamist Arab rebels from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra front.

Turkish troops shot at PYD fighters in Syria last week in line with its rules of engagement after two rocket-propelled grenades from Syria struck a border post on the Turkish side.

The recent capture of Ras al-Ain by the PYD has raised alarm in Ankara that the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria could embolden homegrown militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting for autonomy in Turkey.