x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Bombers hit Damascus but no casualties: information minister

Bombers struck the heart of Damascus early today setting off twin explosions near the headquarters of the armed forces general staff, state media said.

DAMASCUS // Bombers struck the heart of Damascus early today setting off twin explosions near the headquarters of the armed forces general staff, state media said.

"The terrorist explosions were caused by two bombs but the only damage was to property," Information Minister Omran Al Zohbi told state television.

"All military commanders and army spokespeople are fine," he added.

Mr Zohbi said that a manhunt was under way in the Syrian capital's closely guarded Umayyad Square administrative district where the bombers hit.

"The security forces are chasing an armed terrorist group on the outskirts of the area where the explosions strucks," he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the twin blasts struck just 15 minutes apart only a few hundred yards (metres) from the staff headquarters.

The Britain-based watchdog said automatic weapons fire was heard after the blasts as clashes erupted with security forces.