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Huge blast rocks Damascus military airport

Published time: June 16, 2013 20:53
Edited time: June 16, 2013 22:31
AFP Photo / Louai Beshara

AFP Photo / Louai Beshara

A powerful explosion has gone off at a military airport on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, according to witness reports and local media.

State-owned al-Ikhbariya Television  said the explosion "resulted from an attempt to target the Mezze military airport." It has been relating witness testimonies of the blast that was heard throughout most of western Damascus on Sunday.

It took place in the Mezzeh district that is also home to several embassies.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that approximately 20 of President Bashar Assad's forces have either been killed or wounded.

They reported the source of the blast to be a car bomb detonated at a checkpoint near the airport, which also serves as one of the major government elite force bases. It is often used for transporting supplies and performing military operations against rebels, as well as being a private airport for the Assad family.

Video footage captured by witnesses allegedly showed smoke and flames rising from the area, as  ambulances were seen rushing to the scene.