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Explosions rock Damascus military airport

By Melissa Gray, CNN
June 17, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war: In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war:
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rebel spokesman: The first explosion is near the airport's main door
  • The second is near an exterior wall, the spokesman says
  • It's not clear who carried out the explosions
  • "Many ambulances" took away the wounded, the spokesman says

(CNN) -- Two bombs struck a large military airport outside the Syrian capital of Damascus on Sunday night, the main rebel army said, with the explosions heard throughout the city.

The first explosion was near a checkpoint near the main door of the al-Mazzeh airport, and the second was near an exterior wall, said Louay Mikdad, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army.

It wasn't immediately clear who was behind the blasts.

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CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Damascus saw one of the explosions and described a white flash followed by a large plume of smoke and fire.

It was not known how many people were hurt, but Mikdad said witnesses told of "many ambulances" taking away the wounded.

After the explosions, mortar bombs were fired from inside the airport into surrounding neighborhoods, Mikdad said. The targets weren't known.

Besides the military airport, the al-Mazzeh area is home to embassies, security buildings and the homes of some members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's inner circle, according to opposition activists.

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CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Damascus and Samira Said in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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