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Central Damascus rocked by blast

15 августа 2012 года

Syrian state TV reported that three people had been injured in the blast, but that none of them were UN monitors. The intended target of the explosion was not immediately clear. Later on Wednesday, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) is expected to suspend Syria's membership over the ongoing violence. The 57-member organisation, meeting in the Saudi city of Mecca, is expected to endorse a statement put forward by its members' foreign ministers, despite objections from Iran, Syria's last regional ally. State television said Wednesday's blast had been caused by a bomb near a fuel truck planted in a car park near the hotel, but other reports suggested it had been an improvised explosive device (IED). Images from Damascus showed a huge plume of smoke coming from the area in the city centre and several ambulances were seen rushing towards site. UN vehicles in the nearby car park were seen covered in dust and debris. The UN's humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is currently in Syria to investigate ways of getting aid to civilians caught up in the fighting. She and her team were not though to be staying at the hotel and were not affected by the blast.