April 8, 2013

0408DamascusBombingA car bomb went off in the heart of Damascus on Monday morning, close to the Central Bank, killing an estimated 10 people.

Syria's official news agency SANA said a "terrorist explosion" left an as-yet unspecified number of casualties in addition to "huge material damage."

The blast occurred in the financial district of the Syrian capital. It also has many schools, including the French Laique School and the New Horizon Institute.

The FSA's Revolutionary Military Council accused the regime of being behind the explosion, saying "the area is surrounded by six checkpoints." 

The force of the blast generated a sound heard throughout Damascus, said Dima al-Shami, a correspondent for Sham News Network. Afterwards, "panic spread among people and children," al-Shami said.

"Security has closed all the roads to the location and the actual death toll is still unknown," an eyewitness told SAS News who asked to remain anonymous.

“I was walking at the square when the explosion happened. Most people dropped to the ground and the rest ran away. The windows of the surrounding buildings shattered and shabiha started to fire in the air," the eyewitness said.

While no group has claimed responsibility, "no one can get to the area without passing through army checkpoints at Mazraa and al-Muhafiza [the governorate administration building]," said al-Shami.