Syria’s capital, Damascus, was hit by a suicide bomb Friday, leaving about 25 people dead and 46 wounded, according to initial estimates, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.
The bomber carried out the attack at a traffic light near a school in in the central Damascus al-Midan district, and was targeting a bus carrying security forces, SANA said. Both police and bystanders were among the casualties.
Col Riad al-Assad, commander of the defectors’ Free Syrian Army, denied responsibility for the bombing in Turkey. He had warned that his forces will soon launch “huge operations” against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime if the crackdown does not end.
Some oppositions accused the government of carrying out the bombing itself to show Arab League monitors why President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly blamed the “terrorists” and foreign-sponsored conspiracy for fomenting anti-government protests.
Syria said al-Qaeda linked militants killed more than 40 people in an assault on two security-service buildings in Damascus last month, as the first batch of Arab League observers arrived in the country. The league is due to meet in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the findings of its monitors so far.