Syria: Suicide bombers hit Damascus, 55 killed

The deafening explosions took place in an area that houses a military intelligence complex.

Damascus: At least 55 people were killed and more than 370, including military personnel, were wounded on Thursday when two suicide bombers triggered massive blasts in the Syrian capital, the Interior Ministry said.

The deafening explosions took place around 7.50 am in an area that houses a military intelligence complex, Xinhua reported.

The suicide bombers riding booby-trapped vehicles detonated themselves, ripping off the facade of the compound and leaving twisted debris and burnt civilian cars. Around 1,000 kg of explosives were used in the bombing.

The bombers targeted the military intelligence complex located near the intersection of al-Qazzaz area at al-Mutahaleq al-Janoubi highway that connects al-Mazzeh and Jaramana districts.

Sources told Xinhua the two suicide bombers detonated themselves in front of the Palestine branch of the military intelligence complex.

Another report said the attack occurred soon after a convoy of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) crossed a Syrian military checkpoint. There were no casualties among UN officials or damage to UN vehicles, but 10 Syrian soldiers were injured.

The UNSMIS was founded by the UN Security Council in April to monitor a ceasefire in Syria and support the implementation of a peace plan proposed by UN special envoy Kofi Annan.

The Interior Ministry said there were 15 bags of unidentified human parts.

Ambulance workers used blankets and stretchers to carry bodies into vehicles.

Woman and children in the streets screamed out of fear, while passing cars raced out fearing the occurrence of a third explosion.

Wailing sirens reverberated across the capital as Syrian security forces beefed up presence.

The head of the UN Observers` mission, Major General Robert Modd, said the blast is "horrible".

He said "terrorism doesn`t pose a solution to the Syrian crisis".

The twin blasts is the latest in a string of bombings that have targeted dozens of military and security compounds across the country.

The latest major attack occurred in April, when a suicide bomber detonated himself near a security forces bus, killing nine of them. The Syrian government blamed previous attacks on al Qaeda.

According to the UN, more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.


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