Last Updated: Wed Sep 26, 2012 18:19 pm (KSA) 15:19 pm (GMT)

Four killed, 14 injured in attacks on Syrian military building

Members of the Free Syrian Army show the victory sign as fighting continues with regime forces in Aleppo. (Reuters)
Members of the Free Syrian Army show the victory sign as fighting continues with regime forces in Aleppo. (Reuters)

Twin-bomb attacks on Syria’s top military command buildings in the capital Damascus on Wednesday killed four guards and wounded 14 others, state television cited a military official as saying.

“Four of the troops guarding the military headquarters died of their wounds, and 14 other civilians and soldiers were injured in the terrorist attacks,” said the official.

The broadcaster showed video footage of a white van exploding on the roadside next to the building housing the headquarters, and a second blast inside the compound.

It said the two sets of footage were taken at 10 minute intervals of each other.

"The initial investigation shows that these terrorist explosions around and inside the army headquarters were caused by two car bombs driven by suicide attackers," a military official told the television station.

The rebel Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attack that targeted one of the Syrian top military command buildings in the capital Damascus.

“The Free Army hit the General Staff building in Damascus’ Umayyad Square and dozens were killed in the two powerful blasts,” the information office for the FSA military council said in a statement.

Syria’s Information Minister Omran Zoabi had earlier said that the blasts caused only material damage and that security forces were chasing “armed terrorists” -- a term the authorities use to refer to insurgents waging a violent uprising to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

One of the bombs may have been planted inside the military complex, Zoabi told state television.

Video footage and pictures downloaded by activists showed flames engulfing the upper floors a Defense Ministry building by the Umayyad Square in central Damascus.

A Damascus bomb attack on July 18 killed several top security officials, including Assad’s brother-in-law, the defense and interior ministers. That attack paved the way for a rebel advance into the center of the capital, although they have since been pushed back to the outskirts.

At least 30,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, according to activists.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent organization dedicated to the defense of press freedom, says that at least 19 journalists have been killed covering the Syrian conflict since November, making the Middle Eastern state the most dangerous place in the world for journalists.

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