Car bomb hits Syria capital, killing civilian: state media

Syria: A car rigged with explosives blew up in the Syrian capital Wednesday killing one person, state media said, blaming unidentified “terrorists” for the latest blast in Damascus.

“One civilian was killed and five others injured in an explosion in the area of Nahr Aisha in Damascus,” state news agency SANA said.

“Investigations showed that terrorists planted an explosive device inside the car, killing the driver,” it said, using the regime’s designation for both rebels and jihadists.

Five people in the vicinity were wounded and taken to hospital, it said.

Pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan however earlier quoted sources as saying that “a vehicle carrying petroleum products caught fire, causing them to explode”.

The capital has been in the grip of a fuel crisis in recent weeks that has seen long queues form outside petrol stations.

Regime forces last year expelled opposition fighters and jihadists from areas surrounding the capital, after years of sporadic rebel rocket fire on Damascus.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the former rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta on the capital’s doorstep after a deadly Russia-backed bombing campaign and a string of surrender deals.

On January 24, a car bomb hit near the Russian embassy in Damascus but caused no casualties.

It was the second such blast in Damascus in less than a week, after another explosion that caused only material damage, according to state media.

Before that, the capital had enjoyed more than a year of respite from planted explosives.

Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since the conflict began with the repression of anti-government protests in 2011.