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Syria Blast Targets Army Compounds In Damascus

In this Thursday, July 19, 2012 photo, smoke rises over the skyline in the Qaboun neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, during she
In this Thursday, July 19, 2012 photo, smoke rises over the skyline in the Qaboun neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, during shelling by Syrian government forces. Fighting has intensified over the past week as rebels closed in on the capital and launched their most serious blow yet on Bashar Assad's inner circle, killing top aides in a bomb blast Wednesday as they attended a security meeting. (AP Photo)

AMMAN, Oct 11 (Reuters) - A large bomb exploded in an area housing security and army compounds west of Umayyad Square in central Damascus on Thursday, opposition activists said.

Islamist groups Ahfad al-Rasoul and Ansar al-Islam said in a joint statement they planted bombs in a compound belonging to State Security in the area.

Syrian state television said a "terrorist explosion" had injured two people. Witnesses said soldiers in full combat gear were deployed in the area and all roads leading to Umayyad Square were cut.

Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for a bomb attack last month on the army's Chief of Staff headquarters in Umayyad Square, which started a large fire in the building.

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