12 killed in Syria bombings

Syrian state television reported that eight people had died and 13 had been injured, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring group based in Britain, reported that 18 were killed, including the three attackers.

Failaq al-Rahman renewed the accusation on Sunday, saying the Syrian army launched a second attack with chlorine gas within 24 hours.

Syria's Interior Ministry says security forces tracked three cars loaded with explosives as they headed toward central Damascus on Sunday.

In Syria, 18 people were killed in a suicide vehicle bombing in eastern Damascus on Sunday.

Syria's Minister of Local Administration, Hussein Makhlouf, said the response marked "a major success in foiling a plot".

Security forces reportedly chased and intercepted two further suspected auto bombers on the road to Damascus airport as they attempted to enter the city, before releasing the explosives. A vehicle bomb rocked the Tahrir Square in the capital and two cars exploded near the airport road at the entrance of Damascus on Sunday morning.

Since the civil war began in 2011, Damascus has rarely been hit by attacks. Pro-government forces have been fighting to drive rebels from Ain Terma, one of their last strongholds in the Damascus suburbs.

In addition, he told AFP that security forces also targeted two other cars that were driving into the city, killing their drivers.

Damascus rarely sees this kind of violence, as it is the seat of power for the President, and Bashar al-Assad and his allied militias exercise firm control over the city.

  • Jon Douglas