A suicide car comber blew himself up Sunday in the central part of Syria's capital, killing at least 18 people and wounding a dozen more, according to state media and a monitor of Syria's conflict.
Syrian state media and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described the attack as one of three car bombs that were meant to go off.
There was no claim of responsibility. Damascus has in the past been struck by the Islamic State group and other jihadist fighters.
Syrian security forces said they had pursued three car bombers, destroying two at the entrance to the city before they could do damage. Footage on state television showed least two scorched vehicles and other debris along the road to the airport.
The third driver initially evaded authorities and blew himself up in Tahrir Square after being surrounded.
The Syrian Minister of Local Administration, Hussein Makhlouf, said the response marked a "major success in foiling a plot" that could have lead to mass casualties.
The car bomber struck Syria's capital city as many people were commuting for the first work day after the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.
Damascus, the seat of power for President Bashar al-Assad, rarely sees such attacks. Sunday's bombing was the worst the city had seen since March.