Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blast hits Syria capital; 13 killed

A bombing in the heart of Damascus killed at least 13 people yesterday, as Russia banned its civilian planes from Syrian airspace after the crew of one reported coming under threat over the war-hit country.
US President Barack Obama, meanwhile, expressed concerns over the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria’s regime in a telephone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The bomb attack in the Damascus district of Marjeh came a day after Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Haqi survived a car bombing in an upscale neighbourhood of the capital. The blast also injured more than 70 people.
The windows of the interior ministry building were blown out and a commercial complex, Burj Dismshiq, was devastated. Uniformed and plainclothes security forces could be seen running near the scene, as residents fled.
On Monday, a car bomb targeted Haqi’s convoy as it passed through Mazzeh neighbourhood, killing one of his bodyguards and five other people, said the Observatory.