At least 30 killed in double suicide attacks in Syria's Damascus

The suicide attacker targeted the Palace of Justice, a court house in central Damascus.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Security personnel stand near a damaged entrance after a suicide blast at the Palace of Justice in Damascus, Syria March 15, 2017.

Two suicide bomb attacks hit the Syrian capital city of Damascus on Wednesday, killing scores of people and injuring dozens others, regime-run news agency SANA reported.

At least 30 people were killed and more than 60 others injured in the first attack that targeted the Palace of Justice court house in central Damascus not far from the Old City.

According to Damascus police chief Mohammad Kheir Ismail, the Justice Palace attacker struck in the early afternoon. A man wearing a military uniform and carrying a shotgun and grenades arrived at the entrance to the palace, the police chief told SANA.

The guards stopped the man, took away his arms and asked to search him. At that point, the man hurled himself inside the building and detonated his explosives, the chief said.

Ahmad al-Sayed, an attorney general, was in the building just a few metres away from the explosion. He that when the security guards tried to arrest the man, he threw himself inside the palace and blew himself up. 

The second suicide attack took place less than two hours after the court house attack, targeting a restaurant in al-Rabweh area, not far from the earlier attack.

SANA reported that "several" people had died in the second attack, without giving specific numbers. 

The Ikhbariyeh TV channel said the attacker was being chased by security agents when he rushed into a restaurant and detonated his explosives' vest. There was no immediate claim for that attack either.

TRT World's Nafisa Latic reports.

14 children killed in Idlib

In a separate incident, at least 14 children were among 20 people killed in an air strike in Syria's northwestern Idlib province at dawn on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

The monitor said the strikes were believed to have been carried out by Russian warplanes on the provincial capital Idlib city, which is controlled by opposition fighters.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information, says it determines whose planes carry out raids according to type, location, flight patterns and munitions used.

The attacks came as Syrians marked the sixth anniversary of the country's bitter civil war, which has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions of others.

The conflict began in March 2011 as a popular uprising against President Bashar al Assad's rule but quickly descended into a full-blown civil war.

On Saturday, scores of people, most of them Iraqi Shia pilgrims, were killed in a double suicide attack in Damascus.

TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan has more from the Turkish city of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies