Damascus: A suicide bomb attack has hit the main judicial building in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and killed 25, according to state media on Wednesday. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives’ vest inside the Justice Palace on Wednesday.
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives’ vest inside the Justice Palace on Wednesday, SANA news agency said, adding that another 25 people were wounded in the attack.
A second blast in the capital was reported shortly after the first. Breaking news on state television said that an explosion had occured in the Rabweh area of Damascus.
Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim, reporting from Gaziantep, near the Turkey-Syria border, said the suicide bomber in the first blast reportedly detonated his explosives after being stopped by security at the gate of the court house.
“The attack happened during a peak time to inflict the maximum number of casualties,” she said. There was no immediate claim for the bombing, which came as the country’s civil war entered its seventh year.
The attack on capital’s Justice Palace, located near the famous and crowded Hamidiyeh market in Damascus, was the latest in a spate of explosions and suicide attacks targeting government-controlled areas in Syria and its capital.
According to Damascus police chief Mohammad Kheir Ismail, the attacker struck in the early afternoon — at 1.20pm (local time). A man wearing a military uniform and carrying a shotgun and grenades arrived at the entrance to the palace, the police chief told state TV.
The guards stopped the man, took away his arms and asked to search him. At that point, the man hurled himself inside the building and detonated his explosives, the chief said.
Syria’s attorney general, Ahmad al-Sayed, confirmed that account to state TV, saying that when the security guards tried to arrest the man, he threw himself inside the palace and blew himself up.
“This is a dirty action as people who enter the palace are innocent,” he said, noting that the timing of the explosion was planned to kill the largest number of lawyers, judges and other people who were there at the time.
Ambulances rushed to the scene to transfer casualties to hospital. The blast followed twin attacks on Saturday that killed at least 40 people in Damascus, an attack claimed a hardline coaltion known as Tahrir al-Sham, which includes groups with links to al-Qaeda.