Roadside bombs kill 14, wound others during morning rush hour in Syrian capital

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Two roadside bombs exploded near a bus carrying soldiers during a rush hour in the Syrian capital, killing 14 people and injuring others.

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The attack was the deadliest in Damascus in years, and a rare event as government forces captured suburbs previously held by rebels in Syria’s decade-long conflict.

Syrian state TV showed footage of a burnt bus in central Damascus saying the explosion occurred as people were on their way to work and school. The report said a third bomb was discovered and destroyed in the same area.

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No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place under a bridge at a main bus transfer point, where vehicles converge and travel to different areas of the capital.

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“This is a cowardly act,” Major General Hussein Zuma, the Damascus police commander, told state TV. He said a police force had immediately cordoned off the area and ensured that there were no more bombs. He urged the people to inform the authorities about any suspicious object.

Zuma said one of the wounded died later on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 14.

More than an hour after the explosion, workers cleared the site of the explosion and the lit bus was removed.

President Bashar Assad’s forces now control much of Syria as allies Russia and Iran helped keep the balance of power in his favor.

The Syrian conflict that began in March 2011 killed more than 350,000 people and displaced half of the country’s population, with five million refugees abroad.

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In August, Syrian state media said the gas tank of a bus carrying soldiers from a short circuit exploded, killing one and injuring three.

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