Syria: Damascus car bombs kill 57, activists say


Syrian men inspect the scene of a car bomb explosion in Jaramana, a mainly Christian and Druze suburb of Damascus, on November 28, 2012. At least two car bombs exploded in Damascus killing and injuring a number of people.



Two car bombs exploded in a southeastern district of Damascus Wednesday, killing at least 57 people, UPI reported, citing activists.

UPI said that 104 died across the country on Wednesday, according to opposition groups. At least 57 people were killed in one of the explosions, with dozens suspected dead in the other. Earlier in the day, reports had confirmed the deaths of at least 34 people from the bombings.

Syrian state media blamed "terrorists" for the blasts in Jaramana, broadcasting pictures that showed several charred vehicles and damaged buildings, the BBC reported. Over 80 people were reported to be seriously injured in the blasts.

The area where the blasts happened is predominantly Druze and Christian, according to the BBC. Those two communities have not joined the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

The Washington Post said the area is "generally viewed as supportive" of the Syrian government and has been attacked several times in recent months.

The car bombs exploded within five minutes of each other, possibly an attempt to maximize casualties. A resident of the neighborhood said that the second bomb went off as people were rushing to help the injured from the first blast, according to the Post.

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Opposition activists put the death toll at 45 and said no rebel group had claimed responsibility for the car bombs, blaming the regime for the bombings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The LA Times also reported additional explosions in the Nahda and Qerayyat neighborhoods, citing the official Syrian Arab News Agency.

The BBC noted that few from Syria's minority groups have supported the rebellion against Assad's regime, fearing that the majority Sunni Muslim community would choose an Islamist leadership to replace secular rule.

The blasts came a day after rebel fighters reportedly took over two military bases used by the Syrian air force, the Post said. However, the rebels have been losing territory to the Syrian government's forces even as they make gains.

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