BEIRUT — A car bomb that detonated at a checkpoint near Baath party headquarters in Damascus set off a huge explosion Thursday, killing dozens and and wounding more than 200, opposition groups said.
“Most of the casualties appear to be civilians,” said the director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a watchdog group that monitors the violence. The director uses the pseudonym Rami Abdulrahman.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported a bomb attack in the Mazraa neighborhood of the capital, the neighborhood where the Baath headquarters are located, without mentioning its proximity to the Baath offices.
SANA put the number of dead at 53, the Associated Press reported.
“Huge material damage was caused to the houses of citizens in the area,” a report by the Syrian news service said. The attack was described as a “terrorist bombing,” the term the state-controlled Syrian media use to refer to the opposition.