Damascus’ twin bombings leave 43 killed, 129 wounded (Fourth Lead)

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Damascus, March 16 (IANS) The twin bombings that rocked the capital city of Damascus have killed 43 persons and wounded 129 others, media reports said.

The first explosion happened when a suicide bomber detonated his bomb vest inside the Justice Palace, or the Courthouse, in central Damascus on Wednesday afternoon, leaving 43 people killed and 105 others wounded, the source told Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity.

The bomber was among the people who were waiting for checking to enter the building.

He was in camouflaged uniform, holding a rifle and a hand grenade. Once he handed over his weapons to the checkpoint police, he was asked for further inspection. He thronged the checkpoint and entered the main hall of the Justice Palace, detonating a bomb vest he was wearing.

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The bombing happened at the time of rush hour in the courthouse, causing the largest possible deaths.

An hour later, crackles of gunshots were heard in the resort area of Rabweh, in what later appeared to be the Syrian police hunting down a bomber with an explosive belt. The bomber entered a restaurant in that area, detonated the bomb, which wounded 24 persons.

On Saturday, the Al Qaida-linked Nusra Front carried out a suicide bombing in Damascus, killing 74 people, including Iraqi Shiite visitors, who were in Damascus on a pilgrim visit.



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