Five killed in restaurant blast in Syrian capital

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Five people were killed when an explosive device detonated at a restaurant in the Syrian capital Damascus Syrian state media and activists said.

The northern Damascus neighbourhood of Qaboun where the bomb went off has been a centre of protests demanding the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule and has also seen fighting between Assad loyalists and rebels.

State television blamed the explosion on “terrorists,” a term the Syrian government uses when referring to the armed opposition. It said the bomb exploded in a restaurant and showed footage of a burnt-out kitchen and a room full of debris, Reuters reports.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group which monitors violence in the country, said that the bomb detonated just after midnight, but did not give any information on who was responsible.

Syria has restricted media access to the country during a 14-month-old uprising against Assad, which began with mass protests and now features an armed insurgency, making it hard to verify such reports.