Bombing Near Center of Syrian Capital Kills at Least 8

Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 09:32 AM

 

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DAMASCUS, Syria — A bomb exploded in a central district of Damascus on Wednesday, killing at least eight people, Syrian state media reported.

Official news agency SANA said the bomb detonated at the entrance of a building near central Hijaz square at midday.

At least eight people were killed and at least 50 were wounded in the blast, it added. It quoted unmanned officials as blaming "terrorists" for the attack, a term used by President Bashar Assad's government to refer to the rebels fighting to overthrow him.

In a similar incident southeast of the capital, state-run Al Ikhbariya TV said an explosion went off in the city of Sweidah, causing a number of casualties. It did not give a number. If confirmed, it would be the first attack targeting a predominantly Druze city.

Syria's civil war has taken increasingly sectarian overtones in the past year as predominantly Sunni Muslim rebels fight a government dominated largely by Alawites, a sect of Shiite Islam to which Assad belongs.

Syria's Christians have been targeted in previous attacks because Sunni rebels perceive them as siding with Assad.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's attacks.

Rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad have frequently targeted Damascus with bombs. Armed opposition fighters tied to al-Qaida have previously claimed bombings of government and security institutions in the capital and beyond.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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