Three Car BOMBS Leave At Least 18 People DEAD

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SYRIA — Three car bombings have struck Damascus killing as many as 18 people in one of the blasts, in the biggest such attack in the Syrian capital since March.

One of the suicide bombers on Sunday blew himself up at Tahrir Square near Bab Touma in central Damascus after being surrounded by the security forces.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), said 18 people were killed in the bombing, including at least seven members of pro-government security forces and two civilians.

Security forces intercepted the two other car bombs on the road to Damascus airport southeast of the city and detonated them.

State TV said the casualty toll had been minimized because the security forces had prevented “the terrorists from reaching their targets”, saying they had aimed to target busy areas on the first day back to work after the Ramadan holiday.

“This is the largest bombing to hit Damascus in about three months, and it came when life was starting to return to normal. People were returning to work and school after the Eid al-Fitr holiday,” said Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim, reporting from Gaziantep along Turkey’s border with Syria.

In mid-March, bomb attacks on a courthouse and restaurant in Damascus killed 32 people. They were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

That came days after two explosions that left 74 dead in the capital’s Old City and were claimed by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, led by the former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

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