Car bomb attack may be deadliest in Syria's capital since civil war began

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 1:04 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Anti-regime activists now put the death toll from a car bomb attack in Syria's capital today at 59. That would make it the deadliest attack in Damascus since the Syrian uprising began nearly two years ago.

State media say 53 people died, and more than 200 others were wounded.

In May, a double suicide bombing killed 55 people in Damascus.

There have been three straight days of mortar attacks in the center of Damascus, after recent rebel advances in the suburbs. The rebels are making their most sustained challenge so far in the heart of President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

Within hours of today's car bombing, two other bombs went off elsewhere in the city and a mortar attack hit the army's central command. Activists say 13 people were killed by the other two bombs.

Meanwhile, in the southern Syrian town of Daraa -- where the uprising began -- activists say 18 people have been killed in an airstrike on a field hospital.

%@AP Links

154-v-28-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--A bomb blast in Damascus has killed at least 32 people. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie. (21 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *154 (02/21/13)>> 00:28

147-r-12-(Sound of mid-distance emergency vehicle sirens, from rooftop video overlooking city)--Sound of emergency vehicle sirens moving toward the scene of an explosion in Dsmascus as a pillar of smoke rises over the skyline. (21 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *147 (02/21/13)>> 00:12

APPHOTO BEI109: This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows first responders working after a huge explosion that shook central Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. A car bomb shook central Damascus on Thursday, exploding near the headquarters of the ruling Baath party and the Russian Embassy, eyewitnesses and opposition activists said. (AP Photo/SANA) (27 Aug 2009)

<<APPHOTO BEI109 (08/27/09)>>

APPHOTO BEI101: In this photo provided by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian security agents carry a body following a huge explosion that shook central Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. A car bomb shook central Damascus on Thursday, exploding near the headquarters of the ruling Baath party and the Russian Embassy, eyewitnesses and opposition activists said. (AP Photo/SANA) (21 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO BEI101 (02/21/13)>>

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