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Explosions heard near Mezzah airport in Syrian capital - witnesses

Published April 02,2023

A car bomb caused the large blasts heard in the Mezzah suburb area near the Syrian capital Damascus, Syrian state media said on Sunday.

"An explosive device detonated in a civilian car, setting it alight without causing casualties," said state news agency SANA, quoting a police source.

The interior ministry said "two people were slightly injured" in the blast that targeted a pick-up truck, adding that "investigations are ongoing".

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the rare car bombing attack in the Syrian capital, or who the target was.

The attack took place in an area home to United Nations headquarters, several embassies and restaurants, according to an AFP correspondent in Damascus.

On February 27, a Syrian officer who worked "in developing weapons" was killed in a car bombing in the Damascus countryside, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

Sunday's attack comes amid increased Israeli air strikes on Syria.

Two Iran-affiliated fighters were killed in an Israeli air strike in Syria Sunday, according to the British-based monitor with a wide range of sources in Syria, with SANA reporting five Syrian soldiers wounded.

The air strike near the western Syrian city of Homs was Israel's third since early Thursday, after the capital Damascus was targeted that morning and early Friday.

The Syrian war broke out in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful anti-government protests, and escalated into a deadly armed conflict that pulled in foreign powers and global jihadists.

Some 500,000 people have been killed and around half of Syria's pre-war population has been forced from their homes.