DAMASCUS, Syria Twin car bombs ripped through a Damascus suburb Wednesday, killing at least 34 people and leaving dozens critically wounded, according to state media and hospital officials.
The state news agency, SANA, said two cars packed with explosives detonated early in the morning in the eastern Jaramana suburb, a district that is mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad. The area is populated mostly by Christians and Druse, a minority sect.
A series of blasts have struck regime targets in Damascus and elsewhere since last December, raising fears of a rising Islamic militant element among the forces seeking to topple Assad.
Wednesday’s car bombs went off in a parking lot located between two commercial buildings. They were detonated within five minutes of each other as groups of laborers and employees were arriving to work.
The blasts shattered windows in nearby buildings, littering the street with glass and debris. Human remains were scattered on the pavement amid pools of blood.
After the first explosion, people rushed to the site to help the injured and then the second bomb went off, said Ismail Zlaiaa, 54, who lives in the neighborhood.
“It is an area packed with rush-hour passengers,” he said, and added: “God will not forgive the criminal perpetrators.”
There were conflicting reports about the death toll. Two hospital officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media, said at least 30 bodies were taken to two nearby hospitals. The Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on reports from the ground, said 29 people were killed.
The different tolls could not immediately be reconciled. The regime restricts independent media coverage.
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