Car bomb kills 17 in Damascus

Sunni Muslim jihadists striking against the Alawite regime? Sunnis striking against Shi’ites? Or someone else? Whoever did this, in the Islamic media it will be blamed on the Zionists and Crusaders. “Killer car bomb hits Damascus,” by Albert Aji for the Times Online, September 27:

A car bomb killed 17 people and injured 14 others on a crowded residential street in Damascus today, according to Syrian television.It said a car packed with 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of explosives blew up on Mahlak Street, in a southern district of the Syrian capital close to the city’s international airport. . The charred remains of the car was shown by television in the street near a primary school as firefighters stood near a wide crater believed be caused by the blast….

Bassam Abdul-Majid, the Syrian Interior Minister, called the bombing a terrorist act and said all the victims were civilians. But he would not say who might have been responsible. “We cannot accuse any party. There are ongoing investigations that will lead us to those who carried it out.”

Such bombings are rare in Syria, a tightly controlled country where President Bashar Assad’s regime has used heavy-handed tactics to crack down on dissent.

But over the last year, the country has witnessed two high-profile assassinations. Several explosions have also been blamed on Sunni Muslim militants opposed to Syria’s secular government.

Today’s bombing was by far the largest to hit the capital in recent times. It shattered building and car windows and twisted the roof off one car, according to footage aired on Syrian television.

The explosion occurred at the intersection that leads to Saydah Zeinab, a holy shrine for Shia Muslims frequently visited by Iranian and Iraqi pilgrims about five miles (8km) away. A building used by the intelligence services is also located in the area, but cars are not normally allowed to park nearby….

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