At least 18 dead in trio of vehicle bombings in Damascus

Multiple blasts, mortar rounds hit Damascus

A suicide bomber blew up the auto he was driving near the centre of Damascus after being surrounded by security forces, while two other auto bombs were detonated after security forces tried to intercept the vehicles on the edge of the city.

A suicide bomber killed at least 20 people near Damascus' central square as authorities said they had prevented two other similar attacks aimed at crowds returning to school and work after a major Muslim holiday.

Two other vehicle bombs were safely detonated by security forces.

State TV said the attackers had planned to bomb crowded areas in the capital on the first working day after the holy month of Ramadan.

The number of people killed in Sunday's blasts in Syria's capital of Damascus has increased to 13, while at least 29 others have sustained injuries, a medical source told Sputnik.

The bomber was reportedly one of three, who was pursued by the authorities.

Such attacks have been relatively rare in Damascus, the seat of power for President Bashar Assad.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said fighting has been raging in Jobar and Ayn Tarma, both neighborhoods in the Eastern Ghouta region east of Damascus.

In March, two bomb attacks in the capital killed over 40 people - the majority of them Iraqi pilgrims visiting the Bab al-Saghir cemetery, which houses Shia mausoleums. Pro-government forces have been fighting to drive rebels from Ain Terma, one of their last strongholds in the Damascus suburbs.

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