A suicide vehicle bomb tore through the parking lot of a military compound in an eastern Syrian city on Saturday, killing nine people, the country’s state media reported. It was the latest in a series of blasts in recent months targeting security installations.
State TV said the blast in Deir al-Zour also wounded dozens, and showed footage of damaged buildings, smouldering cars, and trucks turned upside down. Debris filled a street that was stained with blood. The station said U.N. observers based in the city visited the site of the blast.
The report said the vehicle was rigged with 1,000 kilograms of explosives and did heavy damage to buildings up to 100 meters away. It added that the explosion left a crater five meters wide and 2 1/2 meters deep.
The state-run news agency SANA said the blast hit the parking lot of a military residential compound, while an opposition group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported that the bomb went off close to the city branches of the Military Intelligence Directorate and Air Force Intelligence.
No one claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack. A group calling itself the Al-usra Front has claimed some previous attacks through statements posted on militant websites. Little is known about the group, although Western intelligence officials say it could be a front for an al-Qaeda branch operating in Syria.