military bus in central Damascus
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According to Syrian state media, Sana news agency at least 13 people were killed in a bomb attack on a military bus in central Damascus.

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The vehicle was targeted with two explosive devices as it passed under the Jisr al-Rais bridge shortly after dawn.

Despite the fact that Syria has been at war for a decade, such attacks in the capital are becoming increasingly rare.

Soon after, at least eight people were reportedly killed by army shellfire in the opposition-held north-west.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, several schoolchildren were among those killed in the attack in Ariha, Idlib province.

Idlib is the final stronghold of the rebel and jihadist groups that have been attempting to depose President Bashar al-Assad since 2011.

According to the United Nations, the war has killed at least 350,000 people and forced half of the population to flee their homes, including nearly six million refugees abroad.

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The Damascus bombing on Wednesday was the city’s deadliest since March 2017, when at least 31 people were killed in a suicide attack claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

The charred remains of the bus were seen on video, with smoke billowing from its broken windows as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

Engineers defused a third explosive device discovered on the bridge, according to Sana.

According to the Syrian Observatory, 14 people were killed in the bombing, and the death toll is expected to rise because many of the injured were in critical condition.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, suspicion will fall on IS, which has attacked military vehicles in the country’s east this year.

 

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