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Dozens Killed, Hundreds Injured, in Rebel Bomb Blast in Damascus

Syrian rebels killed nearly three dozen people, including Assad’s security officials, and wounded more than 250 others in a car bomb blast near the headquarters of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ruling Baath party.

Most of the casualties were civilians, but a number of security officials also were killed. Syrian television showed picture of dozens cars that were burning and of bodies scattered on the street.

The blast occurred between the Baath party headquarters and the embassy of Russia, which is Assad’s’ biggest suppliers of weapons.

Foreign media reported that no one in the embassy was injured but that windows were blown out by the explosion from the car bomb, apparently set off by a suicide bomber.

The capital no longer is under total control by Assad’s army, and rebels have managed to attack government buildings several times in the past year.

Opposition leaders also reported Thursday that a Syria Air Force bombing in the southern city of Daraa killed 18 people, including a woman and a young girl.

The Syrian National Coalition, trying to topple Assad, has said it is willing to talk about a negotiated settlement to end the two-year uprising and civil war, but it ruled out including Assad’s’ security commanders as “part of any political solution in Syria.”

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