Multiple Casualties Reported After Car Bombs Rock Damascus, Syria

Security forces reportedly chased and intercepted two further suspected auto bombers on the road to Damascus airport as they attempted to enter the city, before releasing the explosives. Two of them were destroyed in the outskirts of the city, while the third managed to reach capital's Tahrir Square district, where the bomber detonated the explosive-laden vehicle.

Damascus chief of police Mohamad Kheir Ismail, in a phone interview with the al-Ikhbariya TV station, said the cars had been spotted on a highway and pursued.

However, the United Kingdom -based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which monitors the developments of the blasts through a group of activists on the ground, set the death toll to a dozen people, including the suicide bomber, according to the Associated Press (AP).

A suicide bomber blew himself up in Tahrir Square in central Damascus on Sunday morning.

The minister for local governments and environment Hussein Makhlouf said from the site of the attack that the suicide bombers wanted to target more populated areas, especially that people are back to work following the Eid holidays.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

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He added that the investigation will be reviewed by the federal monitoring team supervising the city's consent decree. She pleaded not guilty to two counts harassment and obstructing a police officer at her arraignment the next day.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-run monitoring group, also reported the three explosions.

Since the civil war began in 2011, Damascus has rarely been hit by attacks.

Mr Assad's forces have struggled to maintain security in areas under their control while continuing to battle rebels seeking to oust Mr Assad as well as jihadi groups that have exploited the war's chaos to seize territory.

Syrian state TV says a series of auto bomb explosions have rocked the capital, resulting in multiple casualties.

The attack was the biggest in Damascus since a wave of suicide bomb blasts by jihadists in March left scores dead.


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