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Syrian activists say a suicide car bomb attack at an army checkpoint near the capital, Damascus, has killed at least 16 soldiers.

Syria's state-run media confirmed that a powerful explosion occurred in the Jaramana neighborhood on October 19, and said it caused casualties.

However, it did not give casualty figures, and blamed the attack on "terrorists."

The Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights said rebels from the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra carried out the attack while trying to capture the checkpoint between Jaramana and the rebel-held town of Mleiha.

The group reported heavy fighting between government troops and the rebels after the blast.

Jaramana, a predominantly Christian area, is mostly loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Rebels have previously targeted Jaramana with bombings and mortar rounds.


Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and dpa
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