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Suicide Bomb Blast Kills At Least Eight In Syrian Capital

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura

A suicide bomber killed at least eight people in Damascus on January 12, hitting a heavily policed neighborhood where some of Syria's main security installations are located.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said initial reports indicate that eight people were killed when the suicide bomber targeted the Kafr Sousa neighborhood in the southwest of the capital.

State news agency SANA said the blast was near a sports club.

The observatory said the death toll was expected to rise, with several of the wounded in serious condition.

The blast comes the same day as the UN envoy for Syria said that a cease-fire in the country was "largely holding, with some exceptions." He added, though, that humanitarian aid is still not getting to besieged areas where food is running short.

Staffan de Mistura, speaking in Geneva, said he was concerned that fighting northwest of Damascus would escalate, possibly derailing proposed negotiations between the government and the opposition scheduled to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, on January 23.

The talks are sponsored by Syrian regime ally Russia and Turkey, which backs rebel groups.

Rebels have been fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for nearly six years.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters