(DAMASCUS, Syria) — Two groups are each taking credit for Wednesday’s suicide car bomb attack against the Syrian military headquarters in Damascus that left four guards dead and more than a dozen others wounded.
The Free Syrian Army, the main rebel group battling government forces, as well as the militant organization Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for the strike that is considered significant because it occurred at the staff command compound.
Witnesses said that a minibus carrying explosives detonated after it crashed into the building, literally shaking the area around it.
According to Syrian State TV, rebel forces and military guards engaged in a gun battle following the blast.
The attack came just a day after several bombs blew up inside a Damascus school that rebels claimed had been taken over by the military to be used as a security headquarters.
Wednesday’s attack occurred on the deadliest day thus far of the 19-month conflict, with 343 fatalities reported. It’s estimated that 30,000 people have died because of the violence since March 2011 but there is no way to verify an exact figure.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Steve Almasy, Ray Sanchez and Darran Simon, CNN
Laura Goehler, CNN
Holly Yan and Joe Sterling, CNN