BEIRUT: A suicide car bomber blew himself up at a police officers’ club in a residential district of Damascus on Tuesday, killing several people, Syria’s interior ministry said.
It said a number of people were also wounded in the blast in Masaken Barza, a middle class district where several major government buildings are located.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence across the country, said eight police officers were killed in the blast and at least 20 wounded after a vehicle was detonated in a parking lot in the police officers’ club.
The interior ministry said in a statement that security forces prevented the suicide bomber from entering the heavily patrolled complex and that the blast took place at its gates.
Syrian state television earlier reported that the blast took place in a busy market place in that area. It later retracted the news.
The last major blast in the Syrian capital took place on January 31 in a district of Damascus where Syria’s holiest Shi’ite shrine is located. The blast which killed over 70 people, including at least 25 Shi’ite fighters, was claimed by Islamic State militants.
Suicide bombings in the heart of the Syrian capital have generally subsided in the last two years. Insurgents however continue to frequently rain mortars from rebel held eastern suburbs of the capital .