Syria Violence

Loud Explosions Rock Central Damascus, Syria TV Reports 'Terrorist' Attack

Three powerful explosions reported in central Damascus; witnesses report smoke rising from near Palace of Justice, Syria's highest court.

Three powerful explosions rocked central Damascus on Thursday, Syrian state television reported.

Witnesses reported smoke rising from an area near the city's Palace of Justice, Syria's highest court. Syrian state television reported a "terrorist explosion" at the court building's car park, which is used by lawyers and judges who work there.

State-run Syrian news agency SANA reported that three people were wounded in the blast, with about 20 cars damaged.

The reported explosion is just one in a series of similar incidents since the beginning of the popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad last year.

Last month, Syrian state television said that twin bomb blasts in the Syrian Al Qazzaz Neighborhood of Damascus killed 55 people and wounded more than 200.

The blasts, which ripped the facade off a military intelligence building, occurred around 7:50 a.m., when employees are usually arriving at work.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said medical workers were collecting human remains from the streets after the explosions and heavily damaged cars and pickup trucks stood smoldering in the area. The outer wall of the headquarters collapsed, although the structure inside appeared intact.

The Syrian government blamed "terrorists" and said dozens were killed or wounded, most of them civilians.

Central Damascus is tightly under the control of forces loyal to Assad but has been struck by several bomb attacks, often targeting security installations or convoys.

Prior to those incidents, another explosion was reported in late April, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt near members of the security forces, killing at least nine people and wounding 26.

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Syria blast - Reuters - 28.6.2012