Car bombs explode near state TV headquarters in Syria
BEIRUT — Suicide attackers detonated a pair of car bombs in central Damascus on Sunday near the state broadcasting headquarters, causing material damage to an exterior wall but no injures, the Syrian media reported.
The explosions occurred in the vicinity of Umawiyeen Square near the General Establishment of Radio and Television, state media said. The zone is in the heart of Damascus, near important government offices and security buildings.
The bombing highlighted the fact that the capital remains vulnerable, despite a massive presence of troops and pro-government militiamen on the streets.
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It was unclear who was behind Sunday’s attacks. But anti-government insurgents waging a more than two-year war to oust the government of President Bashar Assad have frequently targeted loyalist and state media outlets and journalists.
Footage on state television showed what appeared to be a pair of burning vehicles, a fire engine and what seemed to be a nearby building with its windows blown out, the Reuters news agency reported. The attacks apparently occurred after nightfall, though the official news service provided no exact time.
Car bombs have long been favored weapons of anti-government rebels. Officials admit it is impossible to conduct a thorough inspection of every single vehicle entering the capital, despite the presence of numerous government checkpoints.
In Sunday’s blast, the official media said each of the two cars that detonated was rigged with about 220 pounds of explosive material.
The heavily guarded Syrian capital remains largely secure and insulated from the war raging just outside city limits. But anti-government rebels based in Damascus’ outskirts frequently lob mortars into the urban zone and have been accused of detonating car bombs on the capital streets, sometimes causing large-scale casualties.
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