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31 killed in Damascus court house bombing

Syrian security forces cordon off the area following a bombing at the Palace of Justice in the capital Damascus on March 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

A terrorist bomb explosion has rocked a court building in the Syrian capital Damascus, leaving scores of people dead and injured.

Syria's official news agency SANA reported that Takfiri terrorists detonated a bomb on Wednesday in the Palace of Justice, a court house in the capital's al-Hamidiyah district, killing 31 people and injuring an unspecified number of others.

A judicial source was quoted as saying that an attacker blew himself up in a corridor after the security forces prevented him from entering the building.

SANA quoted a source at the Damascus Police Command as saying that a terrorist wearing an explosive belt blew himself up in the building.

According to the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television, the security forces have surrounded the scene of the incident.

Shortly after the court house bombing, the Syrian capital was hit by a second bomb attack in an area to the west of the building.

The second attack occurred as a bomber detonated an explosive device inside a restaurant in the al-Rabweh area, state media reported, adding that there were several casualties.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The blasts come a few days after an explosion targeted the Syrian capital.

On March 11, at least 46 people, most of them Iraqis, were killed in two bomb explosions near the Bab al-Saghir cemetery in the Bab Masala area of Damascus in one of the bloodiest attacks in the city.

Tahrir al-Sham, which includes the former al-Qaeda branch in Syria, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, claimed responsibility for the twin bombings.

The terrorist attacks come as the Takfiri militants active in the Arab country have suffered major setbacks over the past few months as the Syrian army has managed to liberate several areas.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

On Monday, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 465,000 people have been killed or missing in six years of war in the Arab country.

Iran condemns Damascus attacks

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the Damascus terrorist attacks in the strongest term.

He said such indiscriminate attacks were meant to downplay the terrorists’ losses in the battlefield.

“The blood-sucking terrorists in Iraq and Syria are breathing their last thanks to the army, popular forces and resistance fighters battling terrorism,” Qassemi said, adding, “Undoubtedly such inhumane and atrocious measures will not give them a new life.”

'Coward attacks'

Scott Rickard, a former American intelligence linguist from Tampa, described the attacks as “coward”, saying they are desperate attempts by the militants after the losses they suffered on the ground.

“I think these are acts of desperation by very Salafist, very extremist-based individuals who see that they cannot fight any longer on the battlefield and now have taken it to the very reckless and cowardly attacks on innocent civilians,” Rickard told Press TV.

He noted that the terrorists have resorted to disguised bombers due to the tightened security measures imposed by the Syrian forces.

“The Palace of Justice was hit almost five years ago by giant car bombs. So, obviously car bombing has been curtailed due to the measures taken by [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad and his military and security forces,” the analyst said.

“But unfortunately suicide bombs are very difficult [to conduct], and unfortunately this individual who did go to the Palace of Justice was dressed as a military soldier,” he added.

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