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Suicide blast strikes north Damascus: security official


Map of Syria. Image source lonelyplanet

Map of Syria. Image source lonelyplanet

A group of rebels on motorcycles attacked a regime-controlled neighbourhood in Damascus Monday, detonating a suicide bomb when Syrian security forces closed in, a security official told AFP.

“A terrorist group rode into the Rukn al-Din neighbourhood on motorcycles and began clashing with security forces,” the official said.

“When they realised they could not escape, one of them detonated a suicide belt he was wearing,” he said, saying security forces killed the remaining rebels.

Six people wounded in the blast were receiving treatment, the local Hisham Sinan hospital told AFP.

Syria’s state television station reported that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in the area.

Witnesses told AFP that an explosion had come from a small motorcycle rigged with explosives, which was followed by roughly 15 minutes of gunfire.

Rukn al-Din, in northern Damascus, is a relatively quiet neighbourhood dotted with small parks and government checkpoints.

Three people were killed there when an explosion struck in March 2013.

Monday’s attack took place near a military building used by the Syrian army’s logistics department, but the security official denied that the department’s head, General Mohammad Eid, had been targeted.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP however that Eid was wounded in the blast, and that one of his security guards was killed.

Rebel groups are entrenched to the east of Rukn al-Din in Eastern Ghouta, which has suffered from a crippling regime siege for nearly two years.

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