Damascus vehicle bomb killed 20 - Syrian Foreign Ministry

Syrians gather to inspect the damage at the site of a suicide bomb attack in the capital Damascus’ eastern Tahrir Square district on Sunday

As they closed in on the third auto near Al-Tahrir Square, the suicide bomber on board detonated it, killing a number of people and injuring others.

Two of the vehicle bombs were detonated near the airport roundabout in eastern Damascus.

Syrian officials claim to have foiled a plot to target crowded areas during the first morning commute after a Muslim holiday, but a suicide auto bomber was still able to kill at least eight people and wound 12.

People inspect the damage at the site of a suicide attack in Tahrir Square, in central Damascus, Syria July 2, 2017.

The authorities said it was one of three auto bombs that were meant to be blown up in crowded areas of the capital on Sunday, the first day back to work from the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

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"The suicide bomber on board detonated it in al-Ghadir Square in Bab Touma, killing a number of civilians, injuring others, and causing material damage to public and private properties", an Interior Ministry statement said, according to state news agency SANA.

Since the civil war began in 2011, Damascus has rarely been hit by attacks.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the jihadis of Islamic State and militants linked to al-Qaeda have claimed recent attacks inside the city.

Forces loyal to the regime of Bashar al Assad have been battling to drive rebels from Ain Terma, one of their last strongholds on the eastern outskirts of Damascus.

Twin blasts left 74 dead in the capital's Old City on March 11 and were claimed by former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, known before as the Al-Nusra Front.

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