Explosions rock Damascus, injuries reported (VIDEO)
Reuters reported that two coordinated blasts involving seven devices went off at a school used as a meeting place for militia members and pro-government forces.
“At exactly 9:35am, seven improvised devices were set off in two explosions to target a school used for weekly planning meetings between shabbiha militias and security officers," Abu Moaz told Reuters.
Moaz is a leader of Ansar al-Islam, a rebel group that joined the Syrian opposition.
"There were several officers present, and we are hoping they will be part of a large number of killed in this operation," he said.
Video allegedly taken near the site of the bombing was uploaded to YouTube, and showed smoke rising into the air. "A series of explosions shake the capital Damascus,” the video’s narrator said. The authenticity of the clip could not be independently confirmed.
Syrian state television reported no deaths and seven wounded in the bombings. In a conflicting account, three were injured. No casualties were confirmed in the reports.
Al-Arabiya reported that a huge blast struck the Palestine Branch of Syrian Intelligence. The report claimed that several people, including high-ranking officers, were killed.
The Damascus Revolutionary Council and the Prophet’s Grandchildren Brigades both claimed responsibility for the bombing.
“Dozens of officers and shabbiha [regime militias] were killed in the blast,” the Prophet’s Grandchildren Brigades told Al-Arabiya.
The Syrian Intelligence building and the school are reportedly located in the same compound.
Syrian Breaking News Network corroborated the Reuters and AP reports, claiming that four civilians were injured when militants planted a bomb in front of the School of Martyrs’ Children, near the Damascus International Airport.
Though Syrian opposition forces were quick to take responsibility for the attack, Ali Mohamad, editor-in-chief of the Syria Tribune, does not believe the incident will give the rebels too much bad publicity – at least outside Syria.
“Unfortunately, NATO nations, especially the US and France, have been giving the rebels the wrong signals, that whatever they do they will always enjoy the support," Mohamad told RT. “This was a bad message, and it seems the rebels are abusing it.”