UPDATE: 6:00 a.m. EDT – Similar explosions took place on March 19 this year when Syrian rebels launched a massive attack on Damascus amid government bombardments of rebel-held areas.

According to BBC News, two suicide car bombs blew up in Jobar district, near the center of Damascus city. The military was able to control the rebels by deploying tanks in the nearby neighborhoods. “The streets are empty and the army has dispatched dozens of troops in the streets, and tanks are being moved. The sounds of mortars from Jobar have not stopped," a resident of the nearby Tijara district, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Reuters.

Another suicide bombing attack on March 15 killed at least 25 people inside the Justice Palace in Damascus. The building where the bomber detonated himself, is the primary judicial office in the capital city. Islamic State group (ISIS) had claimed responsibility for the attack.

On March 11, twin blasts near a pilgrimage site in Shaghour area in the Syrian city of Damascus killed more than 100 people, in an attack which targeted pilgrims of various Arab nationalities. The Iranian foreign ministry had condemned the attack in a statement then. "The ministry calls on the international community to condemn this heinous terrorist crime that targeted civilian Iraqi visitors to the holy shrines. It also urges a firm and decisive stand against the Takfiri (Arabic derogatory term for Sunni Muslims or ISIS members) groups responsible for them," Iraq’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal said.

Damascus, one of the oldest cities in the Middle East, has been a target of similar attacks in the past too. Syria, which has now entered its seventh year of civil war, has led to the internal displacement of over six million people and more than five million have been forced to escape from the country.

Original story

At least eight people have been killed and more than a dozen left injured after a series of car bomb explosions, including a suicide bomber who blew himself up after being surrounded by security forces, hit the Syrian capital city of Damascus on Sunday, according to Syrian state TV, BBC News reported.

However, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which monitors the developments of the blasts through a group of activists on the ground, set the death toll to a dozen people, including the suicide bomber, according to the Associated Press (AP).

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State TV said that the death toll was minimized because security forces intervened at the right time and stopped two car bombs at the entrance of the city. The security forces also detonated two other car bombs at the airport road intersection in Damascus, AP reported. State-owned media claimed that the attack was planned to target crowded areas as it was the first day of work after the long Muslim holiday that followed the holy month of Ramadan.

"The suicide bomber on board detonated it in al-Ghadir Square in Bab Touma, killing a number of civilians, injuring others, and causing material damage to public and private properties," an Interior Ministry statement said, according to state news agency SANA.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Footage on state TV from the scene of one explosion  in Tahir Square in Damascus and around it showed damaged vehicles and debris scattered all over the road, while security officials investigated the area. Footage from another area showed severely damaged vehicles outside a mosque in the Baytara traffic circle near the Old City in Damascus, Aljazeera reported.