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Power returns to Damascus, say opposition sources

Published: Updated:

Syrian opposition sources have reported that electricity has been gradually coming back to many of Damascus’s suburbs, Al Arabiya television said Thursday.

This news follows reports of a large explosion hitting a checkpoint in a western suburb of Damascus late on Wednesday, causing multiple casualties, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The car bomb in the Dumar suburb came as large areas of Syria were plunged into darkness after a rebel attack on a gas pipeline near the capital affected main power sources.

Damascus was hit by the power cut late on Wednesday, shortly after an explosion near the international airport, residents said.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement that the explosion was caused by rebel forces’ artillery that hit a gas pipeline near Damascus airport.

“Our activist in the area saw bodies on the ground,” said Observatory Director Rami Abdel Rahman.

The Observatory said that the rebel shelling was aimed at the town of Ghasula, a few kilometers from the site of the airport.

Syria has faced a number of blackouts during the 30-month conflict but few that spread this widely. In some cases, blackouts are reportedly initiated by the Syrian authorities to cut phone and Internet services to disrupt rebel communications when regime forces have conducted major operations, according to the Associated Press.

(With AFP and the Associated Press)