A bomb exploded near a Syrian government ministry on Friday, rocking the Mezze neighborhood of the capital. It was the second explosion reported in Damascus on Friday, after a bombing outside a mosque in the northern neighborhood of Rukn al-Din.
The bombing outside the Rukniyeh mosque in Damascus, killed at least five security troops and wounded several civilians according to state media and activist groups.
“Civilians and law-enforcement members were martyred and several others injured when a booby-trapped electric bicycle exploded near al-Ruknieh Mosque in Rukn al-Din in Damascus,” state media reported.
Officials said the first bomb targeted people as they left a mosque after Friday prayers in Rukn al-Din, a residential area not far from the centre of Damascus. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the blast had been aimed at a security patrol.
Meanwhile, the second blast in Mezze neighborhood did not appear to have caused any damage to the Information Ministry located across the street from the blast.
There have been a series of bombings in the capital since the Syrian revolt against Assad’s rule began. Officials have blamed “terrorists” while opposition activists accuse security forces of planting the bombs to discredit the peaceful protesters.
Elsewhere in Damascus on Friday, activists reported heavy shelling by security forces in the districts of Daf al-Shouk, Tadamon, and the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, according to Al Jazeera.
On Thursday, a staff member of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) and his son were killed in their home when it was hit by a shell.
“UNRWA deplores the tragic loss of life and expresses the view that these outcomes could have been avoided,” a statement said.
Meanwhile, ICRC president Peter Maurer just returned from a three-day visit to Syria that included talks with President Assad and members of the Syrian government. Maurer also visited Rural Damascus, to see for himself how civilians were coping with the extreme violence there, a statement on the ICRC website said.