Nineteen Syrian Soldiers Killed in Several Blasts Across County

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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian firefighter extinguishes a burned bus at the site of a deadly explosion, in Damascus, on Tuesday.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian firefighter extinguishes a burned bus at the site of a deadly explosion, in Damascus, on Tuesday.Credit: ,AP

At least nineteen Syrian soldiers were killed Wednesday after two bombs targeted a military bus in Damascus, and another blast shook an arms depot in central Syria.

In Damascus, 14 soldiers were killed when two explosives attached to a bus detonated. Syrian state TV showed footage of the charred vehicle, saying the blasts occurred while people were heading to work and school. The report said a third bomb was discovered and dismantled in the same area.

The blast inside the army ammunition depot, alongside the Homs-Hama road, killed five and wounded four, Iran's state-run TV channel Al-Alam said on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, witnesses and rescue workers said Syrian military shelling in the rebel-held northwest killed 11 civilians. According to reports, the shelling of residential areas in rebel-held Ariha city also claimed the lives of several school children.

A rare attack

The militant group Qasiyun Brigades claimed responsibility for the Damascus attack, which occurred at a main bus transfer point under a bridge, where vehicles converge and head out to different neighborhoods of the capital.

Such attacks in Damascus have been rare in recent years after government forces captured suburbs formerly held by insurgents.

President Bashar Assad's forces now control much of Syria after military help from his allies Russia and Iran helped tip the balance of power in his favor.

Syria’s conflict that began in March 2011 has left more than 350,000 people dead and displaced half the country’s population, including five million who are refugees abroad.

In August, Syria’s state media said a short circuit triggered an explosion in the gas tank of a bus carrying soldiers, killing one and wounding three.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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