'Several killed in 2 terrorist bombings in Damascus'

Syrian state TV reports blasts targeted intelligence complex, police building, killing civilians, security forces; attacks appear to be similar to previous suicide bombings which gov't attributed to al-Qaida.

By REUTERS
March 17, 2012 10:42
1 minute read.
Syrian TV shows site of bombing [file]

Syria bombed out car 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Two large explosions hit Damascus on Saturday, killing several security force personnel and civilians, state television reported, blaming what it said were terrorists behind the year-long uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Video from a blast at an intelligence center showed the front of the building blown away, with numerous burnt out cars littering the street below.

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The second bomb targeted a police building, with television showing the smoldering wreckage of a car at the site, and what appeared to be at a charred corpse inside the mangled shell.

A minivan nearby had a pool of blood on the floor. Its doors and windows were shattered and its panels were also stained red with blood. Damascus residents said clouds of black smoke could be seen rising from the areas where the blasts struck.

No one claimed responsibility for the twin attacks, which appeared to be similar to suicide bombings that struck Damascus and Syria's second city Aleppo in the last three months.

The explosions came two days after the first anniversary of year-long uprising, in which the United Nations says more than 8,000 people have been killed and some 230,000 forced to flee their homes as the violence spreads.

Saturday's attack followed three suicide bombings in Damascus in December and January which killed at least 70 people. Syria's government, blaming al-Qaida for at least some of those attacks, vowed to respond with an iron fist.

Aleppo has also been hit by car bombs, with blasts outside security bases in February killing 28.

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