Bomb blast near UN hotel in Damascus wounds 3

No UN monitors hurt in the attack that sends a plume of smoke into the Syrian capital's skyline; FSA claims responsibility.

August 15, 2012 10:39
1 minute read.
Site of alleged car bomb attacks in Damascus

Smoke rises in Damascus 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

BEIRUT - A bomb exploded in Damascus on Wednesday near a hotel used by United Nations monitors and wounded three people, Syrian state television said on Wednesday.

The bomb, which was placed in a car park behind the hotel, blew up a fuel truck which sent clouds of black smoke into the sky above the capital.

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Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, said none of the observers had been wounded in the blast, state television said. "This was a criminal act aimed at distorting Syria's image," it quoted him as saying.

The Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the bombing, Al-Arabiya English reported.

The target was not immediately clear. The area is home to the Syrian army officers club and a building belonging to the ruling Baath Party and is also not far from the army command.

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Video from the site of the explosion broadcast by El-Ikhbariya, a pro-government channel, showed firemen hosing down a steaming fuel truck whose tank was blasted open near the hotel. A row of white UN vehicles parked nearby was covered in ash and dust.

A witness said the explosion had gone off at around 8.30 a.m. (0530 GMT) and damaged a building opposite the Dama Rose Hotel, where the monitors were staying, but appeared not to have damaged the hotel itself.

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