Bloomberg News

Syrian Capital Damascus Hit by Suicide Bomb, State TV Says

January 08, 2012

(Updates with death toll in first paragraph.)

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Syria’s capital, Damascus, was hit by a suicide bomb that left about 25 people dead and 46 wounded, according to initial estimates, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said. It was the second such attack in two weeks.

The bomber carried out the attack at a traffic light near a school in the al-Midan district today, and was targeting the security forces, SANA said. Civilians also died, it said. Images from the scene broadcast by state television showed the back seat of a bus littered with broken glass and soaked in blood.

The violence comes as additional Arab League monitors are arriving in Syria to help monitor President Bashar al-Assad’s pledge to end a crackdown on protests. Assad has repeatedly blamed “terrorists” and foreign provocateurs for fomenting anti-government protests in a conflict that has left more than 5,000 people dead by United Nations estimates.

Syria said al-Qaeda linked militants killed more than 40 people in an assault on two security-service buildings in Damascus last month, as the first batch of Arab League observers arrived in the country. The league is due to meet in Cairo on Jan. 8 to discuss the findings of its monitors so far.

Assad promised in an accord with the Arab League to withdraw security forces from cities, release political prisoners and allow anti-government demonstrations.

U.S.- and European-led efforts to seek punitive action against Assad at the United Nations Security Council have been resisted by countries including China and Russia.

--Editors: Ben Holland, Heather Langan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Caroline Alexander in London at calexander1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Langan at hlangan@bloomberg.net


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