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Rocket fire kills four in Syrian capital: state media

Syrians surround a charred car following an explosion in Damascus on May 9, 2018
AFP

Damascus (AFP) – Rocket fire in the Syrian capital killed four people and wounded dozens of others on Wednesday, state media said.

State news agency SANA said four people were killed and 24 wounded in “attacks on the Damascus Tower and Maysat Square”. 

“A rocket fired by terrorists on Damascus city struck a car crossing Maysat Square, killing two civilians and wounding 11 others,” SANA reported a source in the Damascus police as saying.

“Another rocket fired by the terrorists fell on the high floors of the Damascus Tower in the Marjeh area, killing two people and wounding 13 civilians,” the source said.

State television had earlier reported shelling on the tower in central Damascus and suggested the car in Maysat Square in the northeast of the city could have been booby-trapped.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

The attacks came as regime forces battle to oust Islamic State group jihadists from the southern districts of the capital, including Yarmuk and the adjacent Hajar al-Aswad neighbourhood.

An AFP correspondent in Damascus heard two large explosions.

State television broadcast images of security forces gathering around the mangled, burnt-out skeleton of a car in Maysat Square.

A few metres away, the metal shell of a small bus also appeared blackened.

Bassam al-Dahni, a government employee, said he had run to the scene after hearing what he described as a “large blast”.

Those who arrived found “wounded on the ground and we helped to get them to a hospital”, he told AFP, blood visible on his hands.

The body of the car’s driver was found burnt through, he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, says IS fighters have previously targeted the capital in recent weeks.

“IS in southern Damascus has fired rockets intermittently on the capital” since April 19 when pro-government forces ramped up their fight against the jihadists, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The Damascus regime set its sights on Yarmuk and nearby areas after retaking the former rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta east of the capital last month.

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