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article imageExplosion near UN monitors' HQ in Damascus wounds three

By Anne Sewell     Aug 15, 2012 in World
Damascus - A bomb exploded on Wednesday, 10 meters away from the Damas Rose Hotel in Damascus, Syria, where UN monitors are currently headquartered. Three people were injured.
Al Arabiya is reporting that the Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
According to RT's reporter, it looks like the explosives were placed on a vehicle parked in the facility next door to the hotel.
Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, has toured the blast area and says that none of the UN staff were hurt.
RT correspondent, Oksana Boyko tweeted from the scene of the bombing that Mekdad claims the attack targeted UN observers and that he called on the international community to unite in rejecting this act of terrorism.
Mekdad told reporters, “This is a criminal act that shows what kind of attacks Syria is being subjected to. Such explosions will not affect Syria … I confirm that we are with the UN and we will do all we can to guarantee their protection so that they carry out their role.”
This explosion occurred as UN humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, is visiting the Syrian capital. However, her team is believed to be headquartered at a different hotel.
However, there appears to be some confusion as to where the explosion actually occurred. According to Al Arabiya, Lieutenant Abu al-Nour said that the attack was made on the Syrian government headquarters, and that they were completely destroyed with 150 people inside. He further said that no one had exited the building.
According to a statement by al-Nour, the explosion targeted a morning meeting of high-ranking lieutenants, which meetings take place at around 8:05 every day during Ramadan. He claims that the headquarters stores weapons used by the Assad regime. He added that eight improvised explosive devices had been used to destroy the building.
Syrian television is reporting that the explosion took place near a parking lot used by the army command, some 300 meters away, and that none of the wounded were believed to be UN staff.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene has reported that the blast had gone off inside a different parking lot belonging to a military compound near the Damas Rose Hotel, popular with the UN observers in Syria.
RT's correspondent was on the scene and confirms in the video above that the explosion was near the Damas Rose Hotel.
Video: Footage of the aftermath of the explosion in Damascus.
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