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Last Updated: Monday, 13 December, 2004, 18:22 GMT
Car blast shakes Syrian capital
Damage caused by Damascus blast
Investigators picked through the debris looking for clues
A suspected car bomb has exploded in a diplomatic quarter of Damascus wounding two people, Syrian officials say.

The car was quickly removed by security teams who collected debris on the street in the Mazze area, reports said.

One passer-by was reported to have been injured by shrapnel and a resident of the area hurt by flying glass.

The vehicle reportedly belonged to a member of the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Syria's interior minister blamed Israel for the blast.

"The group who carried out this act deals with the Israeli [intelligence agency] Mossad or perhaps it is Mossad itself," Ghazi Kanaan was quoted as saying.

One eyewitness told Reuters news agency that the blast had been so strong that the door of his house blew open and all the windows were shattered.

Syria map
Palestinian sources said the bomb was placed under the driver's seat and it blew up shortly after the Hamas member and his daughter had parked the car and got out.

It was the second explosion in the Mazze district since April, when four people died after a group of attackers detonated a bomb under a car and shot at police.

The Syrian government initially claimed international terrorists were behind that attack - but later said it had been the work of a small, isolated local group.

In September, Israel killed a Hamas militant in Damascus with a bomb in his car.

Israeli officials said they did not know anything about the latest incident.

Israelis admit Damascus bombing
27 Sep 04 |  Middle East
Syrian police clash with bombers
28 Apr 04 |  Middle East
Country profile: Syria
10 Feb 04 |  Country profiles

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