Nine soliders killed in Damascus car bomb
Large areas of Damascus have been destroyed by car bombs and other violent attacks. Here, a pile of rubble is seen following a car bomb in June. (AFP/File)
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Nine soliders were killed when a car bomb exploded in southeast Damascus on Thursday, triggering clashes between government forces and rebel fighters, a watchdog reported.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released the news as Syria braces itself for a possible Western military attack following allegations that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against civilians last week, AFP reported.
"A car bomb exploded this morning at a military checkpoint in the town of Nabak, on the Homs-Damascus road," killing the nine soldiers, said the Observatory which relies on medics and activists for its information, according to AFP.
Following the attack, the Syrian army bombarded Nabak, the Observatory reported.
The watchdog also reported heavy army shelling in the northwestern Idlib province, in the town of Ariha, which killed 10 people, including six women and two children, according to AFP.
The shelling of Ariha caused "an exodus" of residents from the town, the Observatory added.