Suicide blast kills at least 16 Syrian security personnel

At least 16 members of Syria'ssecurity forces were killed by a suicide vehicle bomber andensuing clashes with rebels at a checkpoint on the outskirts ofDamascus on Friday, an opposition monitoring group said.

Syrian state television reported the blast but did notspecify a death toll, saying only that several people had beenkilled or wounded in a "terrorist bombing".

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saidSyrian fighter jets retaliated by striking nearbyopposition-held areas, where clashes erupted after a suicidebomber blew himself up in a vehicle at an army checkpoint nearJaramana, a suburb of the capital.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's2-1/2-year-old conflict, which began with popular protestsagainst President Bashar Assad before degenerating into civilwar.