October 9, 2012 - 19:36 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Rebel suicide bombers struck overnight at an Air Force Intelligence compound on the edge of the Syrian capital Damascus, killing or wounding at least 100 people, insurgents and activists said on Tuesday, October 9, according to Reuters.
The militant Islamist group al-Nusra Front said it had mounted the attack because it was used a center for torture and repression in the crackdown on the 18-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
"Big shockwaves shattered windows and destroyed shop facades. It felt as if a bomb exploded inside every house in the area," said one resident of the suburb of Harasta, where the compound was located.
Activists living nearby said the bombing caused at least 100 casualties among security personnel, based on the number of ambulances that rushed to the scene and the enormity of the explosions.
No official casualty figure was given. Security forces cordoned off the area and deployed snipers along routes leading to it.
Rebel fighters have carried out a series of bombings of government and military buildings in Damascus in recent months, bringing the war to the heart of Assad's power base.
The most notable was an attack on the National Security headquarters which killed the defense minister and two other senior security officials in July.
The latest bombing coincided with a series of rebel raids on roadblocks manned by Assad forces on a highway leading north from Harasta and in Sunni Muslim neighborhoods of Damascus that have been at the forefront of the revolt, residents said.
Syrian warplanes also bombed areas near the town of Um al-Asafir on the edge of Damascus, and artillery pounded the suburb of Artous, killing at least one woman, according to opposition activists.