21:02 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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At Least Ten Dead in Damascus Car Bomb Blast

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At least ten people have been killed after a car bomb exploded near a police station in the Syrian capital, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing local media.

At least ten people have been killed after a car bomb exploded near a police station in the Syrian capital, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing local media.

The blast rocked the Old City quarter of Bab Touma in Damascus, the TV channel said, referring to the pro-government broadcaster Ikhbariya TV.

The blast came as President Bashar al-Assad opened talks with visiting UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi who is trying to broker a truce to start during a Muslim holiday this week.

A security official said the explosion targeted a police station in the neighborhood, which is mostly inhabited by the Christian minority and is a popular attraction for shoppers.

The Syrian conflict has claimed up to 30,000 lives according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups. The UN estimates the death toll at over 20,000 people.

The West is pushing for Assad’s ouster while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, saying that the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.