Suicide attacker kills, wounds several people in Damascus
DAMASCUS, Syria — A suicide bomber blew himself up in central Damascus on Sunday, killing and wounding several people, according to Syrian state television.
The suicide bomber was driving a car as authorities chased him at Al-Tahrir square, but he escaped and detonated his explosives. The security officials cited by state media did not provide a specific number of casualties.
Authorities were pursuing three cars, and intercepted two and destroyed them near the entrance of Damascus, state media said.
As they closed in on the third car near Al-Tahrir Square, the suicide bomber on board detonated it, killing a number of people and injuring others.
Damascus is rarely hit by attacks. Since the start of the Syrian conflict, government troops and allied militias have held a tight grip on the capital.
In March, rebel groups launched a surprise attack in northeastern Damascus, taking advantage of Syrian regime forces overstretched by fighting elsewhere in the country, an expert said at the time.
The Syrian regime has been weakened in the capital — located in the south of the country — due to its focus on fighting Isis in Raqqa, in the north, said Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow in Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.