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Syria: bomb attack on army bus kills 14

Army bus was targeted by explosives under Al-Rais Bridge on 20 October, 2021 in Damascus, Syria [Sana]
Army bus was targeted by explosives under Al-Rais Bridge on 20 October, 2021 in Damascus, Syria [Sana]

A deadly bomb blast hit the Syrian capital Damascus during this morning's rush hour, killing at least 14 military personnel and wounding three others. An army bus was targeted by explosives under Al-Rais Bridge.

Images and footage released by Syria's SANA news agency showed the emergency services responding at the scene of the charred bus. Reports also claim that a third bomb was defused in the same area, having fallen off the vehicle before it was set to explode. Damascus police commander Major General Hussein Jumaa branded the attack as a "cowardly act".

Damascus has largely avoided the level of violence that has affected other parts of the country during the past decade of conflict. Today's attack has been described as the deadliest in years. A suicide bombing claimed by Daesh claimed the lives of 31 people in 2017. The Syrian government reclaimed full control of the city and its outskirts the following year after driving out the terrorist group.

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Although no one has claimed responsibility for today's attack, it is speculated that it was carried out by Daesh, which remains an active threat in Syria's eastern desert. The Syrian army's primary focus, however, is the rebel-held north-west stronghold of Idlib, which is dominated by the jihadists of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

According to Reuters, four children were killed in another attack while on their way to school today in the Syrian town of Idlib. The UN children's agency UNICEF confirmed that the four were among 10 people killed and 35 wounded in shelling by the Syrian army.

"Today's violence is yet another reminder that the war in Syria has not come to an end," said the UN agency. "Civilians, among them many children, keep bearing the brunt of a brutal decade-long conflict."

READ: UN dispatches 63 truckloads of aid to Syria's Idlib

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