18 killed in Damascus suicide bombing: Monitor
Syrians inspect the damage at the site of a suicide bomb attack in the capital's eastern Tahrir Square district, on July 2, 2017. Photograph: (AFP)
Eighteen people were killed after a suicide bombing in eastern Damascus, Syria, reports AFP, citing a monitor.
Three car bombs exploded, but two of them were intercepted and destroyed by security forces before they could inflict any damage, Reuters reports.
Syrian state TV said the casualty toll had been lessened by security forces, who prevented "the terrorists from reaching their targets", saying they had set their sights on busy areas on the first day back to work after the Eid al-Fitr holiday, Reuters reported.
Footage of Tahrir Square on state TV showed roads filled with debris, several badly damaged cars, and another car that been turned into a pile of twisted metal. Another broadcast showed the site of the explosions, including what appeared to be a person's remains and other badly damaged vehicles outside a mosque near the Old City, Reuters reported.
Back in March, Islamic State claimed responsibility for two suicide bomb attacks in Damascus that killed several dozens of people, most of them at the Palace of Justice courthouse near the Old City.
Again in March, a double suicide attack in the capital killed scores of people, most of them Iraqi Shi'ite pilgrims. That attack was claimed by the Tahrir al-Sham alliance of Islamist insurgents, which is spearheaded by a jihadist group formerly known as the Nusra Front.
Syrian government forces, which have defeated rebel fighters in several suburbs of Damascus over the last year, are currently battling insurgents in the Jobar and Ain Tarma areas on the capital's eastern outskirts.