Bomb kills 5 in Syrian capital

Bomb kills 5 in Syrian capital

A bomb that apparently struck a restaurant in the Syrian capital killed at least five people, the state-run news agency said on Tuesday, as activists reported intense clashes between army defectors and soldiers in the restive north.

It was not clear what the exact target of the blast was, although authorities in Damascus said it appeared to be a police station. But photos of the scene released by the state news agency, SANA, showed what looked like a restaurant. The area was considered too dangerous for journalists to access.

SANA said the bomb went off late on Monday in the Damascus neighbourhood of Qaboun, which has seen frequent anti-government protests.

The UN estimates the Syrian conflict has killed more than 9,000 people since March last year. The conflict already has spilled across the border into neighbouring Lebanon. The countries share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which can turn violent.

Lebanese Sunni groups supporting and opposing the Damascus regime fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns early on Monday in the Lebanese capital, killing at least two people in the most serious outbreak of violence in Beirut since the uprising began next door.

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