Bomb attack kills 13 Syrian military personnel: state media

Two roadside bombs have exploded near a bus carrying troops in the Syrian capital Damascus, killing at least 13 military personnel and wounding three others, state TV reported.

Syrian state TV showed footage of the charred bus in central Damascus early Wednesday, saying the blasts occurred during rush hour when people were heading to work and school.

Two explosive devices went off as the bus was on the Hafez al-Assad bridge, it said, adding a third device was defused by an army engineering unit in what officials said was a “terrorist” blast.

There have been several attacks this year on army vehicles in eastern Syria by suspected ISIL (ISIS) fighters who still operate in the sprawling desert area.

Blasts in Damascus have been rare since forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad took control of rebel enclaves around the city. Helped by Russia’s military presence and Iran’s militias, al-Assad now controls most of the country.

Syria’s conflict, which began in March 2011, has left more than 350,000 people dead and displaced half the country’s population, including five million who are refugees abroad.

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