Opposition activists say 31 dead in Damascus blast

Associated Press
This image made from amateur video released by Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian rebel firing his weapon in Damascus, Syria, Friday, June 21, 2013. The commander of Syria's rebels confirms they have received new weapons, giving his forces more power in battles against government troops and Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon. Gen. Salim Idris refused to say in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV Friday where the weapons came from. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)
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This image made from amateur video released by Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian rebel firing his weapon in Damascus, Syria, Friday, June 21, 2013. The commander of Syria's rebels confirms they have received new weapons, giving his forces more power in battles against government troops and Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon. Gen. Salim Idris refused to say in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV Friday where the weapons came from. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Opposition activists say at least 31 people have been killed in a car bomb attack in Damascus near the headquarters of the ruling Baath party and the Russian Embassy.

The Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the dead were civilians, but members of the Syrian security services were also killed in Thursday's attack.

Witnesses and opposition activists said the explosion targeted a security checkpoint central Mazraa neighborhood.

Syrian state TV also reported the blast, calling it a "terrorist" attack by a suicide bomber on a heavily populated area.

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