A military bus in Damascus was the target of a bomb attack that killed at least 14 people, Syrian state media reported, while witnesses and rescue workers said shelling by government forces in the country’s rebel-held northwest killed 11 civilians.
- Two explosive devices detonated while the bus was on the Hafez al-Assad bridge in central Damascus
- Witnesses and rescue workers believe 11 civilians have also been killed by Syrian military shelling in the rebel-held northwest
- Northwestern Syria is the last major stronghold of rebels fighting the Assad regime
The violence marks one of the bloodiest days in several months in Syria, where a decade of conflict has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and the country broken.
The Damascus bomb exploded as a bus carrying army personnel crossed a bridge in the middle of the capital during the morning rush hour.
Pictures of the bus’ charred cabin and rescue workers working to remove body parts were broadcast on Syrian state television.
It reported that at least 14 people were killed and three injured and there was no claim of responsibility yet.
Two separate explosive devices detonated while the bus was on the Hafez al-Assad bridge.
A third unit was disinfected by an Army engineering unit.
Bombings in Damascus have been rare since forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad smashed rebel enclaves around the city.
Aided by a Russian military presence and Iranian Shiite militias, Mr Assad now controls most of the country.
Northwestern Syria is the last major stronghold for rebels fighting the Assad regime.
Witnesses and rescue workers said shelling hit residential areas in the rebel-held city of Ariha shortly after the bombing in Damascus.
Among the victims were several school children, according to witnesses and doctors.
Turkey’s state-run media agency said government forces and groups backed by Iran were targeting a marketplace in central Ariha.
Islamic State militants continue to operate in the Syrian desert, where they have carried out several attacks on army vehicles this year.