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Blasts rock Damascus military headquarters

Antakya (Turkey), Sept. 26: At least two large explosions struck a military headquarters in a busy square in central Damascus today morning, setting fire to the building on the second day of dramatic bombings in the Syrian capital, according to witnesses and state television. as the conflict dominated debate at the UN in New York.

In gunfire that broke out after the explosions, a television correspondent, Maya Nasser, who worked for the Iranian English-language satellite broadcaster Press TV, was killed by a sniper during a live broadcast, the station said. There was no immediate independent account of who opened fire on the correspondent, identified by The Associated Press as a 33-year-old Syrian national.

Press TV said its Damascus bureau chief, Hussein Murtada, also came under attack and was injured. Iran is the chief regional supporter of President Bashar al-Assad in his battle against rebels.

The blast sent a huge pall of dark smoke over central Damascus and was described as the biggest since explosions on July 18 killed several of President Assad’s key security aides including the defence minister and the President’s brother-in-law. The rebellious Free Syrian Army took responsibility for the blast today.

While the full scope of casualties was not immediately clear, a Syrian Army statement said that “armed terrorist gangs, with foreign links, carried out a new terrorist act this morning by blowing up an explosives-laden car and a bomb at the Army General Command, which damaged the building, caused a fire and wounded some of the guards”.

 
 
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