AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
DAMASCUS: A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car outside security headquarters in Syria’s biggest eastern city today, killing nine people and wounding 100, state media said.
The attack was the the first of its kind in Deir Ezzor since an anti-regime uprising broke out in Syria in March 2011, and the deaths there came as at least another 10 people died elsewhere in the country. Among the dead were a woman and her two children gunned down in the northern city of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
A ‘terrorist suicide bomber’ used 1,000 kilograms of explosives in the attack on the Deir Ezzor neighbourhood of Ghazi Ayyash, said state television.
The powerful explosion left a crater 3.5 metres deep and damaged buildings within a radius of 100 metres, the channel said, adding that a four-year-old girl was among those critically wounded.
It occurred on a road housing a military and air force intelligence headquarters and a military hospital, according to the Observatory. Images broadcast on state television showed a large bloodstain on the ground, a damaged building and vehicles charred by the blast, as well as smoke rising from the targeted district.
There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing but, as typically happens in such cases, the opposition blamed it on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
“The Syrian National Council places on the Syrian regime the entire responsibility... for the criminal bombings in several Syrian cities, including the one today in Deir Ezzor,” it said in a statement.
Elsewhere, a rocket slammed into the ruling Baath party’s offices in northern Aleppo province, the Observatory said, a day after unprecedented anti-regime protests in the provincial capital of the same name. “Unidentified gunmen targeted a Baath party office in Aleppo’s Al-Bab town with a rocket-propelled grenade,” said the Britain-based watchdog.
Immediately after the attack, clashes broke out between the gunmen and guards, but there were no reports of any casualties.
The government said it had foiled a suicide bomb attack in Aleppo on May 11, a day after twin bombings in Damascus killed 55 people and wounded nearly 400. It has repeatedly blamed bomb attacks on “terrorists” and al-Qaeda. In Homs, sniper fire killed a civilian and blasts were heard as shells rained down on the flashpoint central city, the Observatory said.