Damascus bombed as Assad makes rare foray

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad made a rare public appearance yesterday, visiting a Damascus power station, while two bombs exploded near the city centre and wounded 15 people.

The blasts were caused by two improvised explosive devices which went off on Khalid Bin Walid St and nearby Bab Mesalla Square. The state news agency said the bombs were planted by “terrorists”, a term the government uses to describe rebels fighting to topple the Syrian leader.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Bab Mesalla explosions were due to rockets. It said initial information indicated there were casualties, but the number could not be obtained immediately.

Assad’s visit to the power station came just a day after a powerful bomb hit the capital.

A broadcast on state television showed Assad speaking to staff at the Umayyad Electrical Station in the Tishrin Park district. Similar still images also appeared on a page used by the Syrian presidency on Facebook.

“They want to scare us, we will not be scared. They want us to live underground, we will not live underground,” said Assad.


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