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Bomb Attack on Syrian Army Bus in Damascus Kills at Least 14

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian security officers gather around a burned bus at the site of a deadly explosion, in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 20, 2021.

At least 14 people were killed Wednesday when two bombs exploded that were attached to a Syrian army bus in Damascus, state media reported

The attack was one of the deadliest in the Syrian capital since President Bashar al-Assad's troops forced opposition fighters from the capital's outskirts in 2018. A decade of fighting continues between the Syrian government and insurgents in other parts of the country.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred near a bus transfer point where commuters and schoolchildren usually converge.

State media quoted a military source as saying the two bombs had been attached to the bus before it began transporting army personnel and that the army had defused a third device

One of the last large explosions in Damascus occurred in 2017, when suicide bombers killed nearly 60 people in an attack on a judicial office building and a restaurant. The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State militant group, which has not held territory in Syria since 2019 but continues to pose a threat with sleeper cells hiding primarily in Syria’s desert.

Shortly before the Damascus bombing, the Syrian army shelled a town in the last rebel enclave in northwestern Syria, killing at least 10 people, including four children and a woman.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on the town of Ariha resulted in the highest civilian death toll in the Idlib area since March 2020, when a truce in the northwest was negotiated by Syrian allies Turkey and Russia. The truce has been repeatedly violated.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, AFP and Reuters.