Syrian forces, rebels clash in central Damascus
BEIRUT, Aug 11 — Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad clashed with rebels in the heart of the capital Damascus near the Syrian central bank today, residents and state television said.
An explosion was followed by fighting that appeared to be spreading, said one resident, who asked not to be named for fear of arrest.
“The explosion was huge. There has been fighting for the past half an hour along Pakistan Street. I am very close. Can you hear that?” she asked, to the sound of a loud bang.
State television said that “terrorists”, a term they use for opposition fighters, had detonated a bomb in Merjeh, an area near the central bank.
It said fighters were “shooting at random to spark panic among citizens and the authorities hunted the terrorist groups”.
Central Damascus has previously remained largely unscathed during the 17-month-old uprising against Assad’s rule. — Reuters