Damascus car bomb kills at least 53

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DAMASCUS, Syria — A massive car bomb exploded near Syria’s ruling party headquarters in Damascus today, killing at least 53 people and scattering mangled bodies amid the smoldering wreckage.

Syrian state media put the toll at 53 with more than 200 wounded. However, anti-regime activists said 59 died, which would make this the deadliest attack in the capital since the Syrian uprising began nearly two years ago. In May, a double suicide bombing killed 55 people in Damascus.

Within hours of the car bombing, two other bombs went off elsewhere in the city and a mortar attack struck the army’s central command. Thirteen people were killed by the other two bombs, activists said.

While no group has claimed responsibility, the attacks suggest that rebel fighters who have gotten bogged down in their attempts to storm the capital are resorting to guerrilla tactics to loosen Assad’s grip on the capital.

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