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Scene of Damascus attack Photo: AFP
Scene of Damascus attack Photo: AFP
 
 

Report: Top Syrian officer killed in Damascus explosion

London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper says senior military officer is among 17 fatalities of car bomb which rocked Syrian capital. Attack believed to be meant for city's intelligence services building

Roee Nahmias
Published: 09.28.08, 10:56 / Israel News

A high-ranking Syrian military officer was killed in the car bomb explosion which struck Damascus on Saturday, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Sunday.

 

Seventeen people were killed Saturday morning when a car bomb exploded in the Syrian capital. The blast, which Syria's interior minister dubbed a "terror attack", occurred at an intersection leading to the Sit Zeinab shrine, popular with Shiite pilgrims from Iran and Lebanon.

 

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According to the al-Sharq al-Awsat report, the car bomb was meant to hit a Syrian intelligence services building, located near Damascus' international airport, where Syria's "Palestinian directorate" is believed to be located.

 

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was quick to assign blame Saturday, saying Israel was the one which stood to gain the most from the attack.

 

"Unfortunately, in the years following the American war on terror, terror has managed to spread even further. Such incidents can take place anywhere and do not indicate that there was a security breach," he said.

 

The terror attack in Syria was condemned by the US, Europe and the Arab world.

 

Syria has known several assassinations and assassination attempts in the past few months, most recently that of Hisham el-Badni, secretary to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' political leader, who according to reports was gunned down in a Damascus street, in broad daylight.

 

July saw another top Syrian official killed, as Brigadier General Mohammad Suleiman, a senior aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was gunned down by a sniper.

 

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