Huge explosion rattles Syrian capital

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Damascus residents and state-run TV say a huge explosion has shaken the city.

The blast followed by heavy gunfire caused panic in the capital, where a massive car bombing on Thursday near the ruling Baath party headquarters killed at least 53 people.

It was not immediately clear what the target of Monday's explosion was and whether there were casualties.

State-run TV reported a "terrorist" explosion at the entrance to the northeastern neighborhood of Qaboun.

The blast comes on the same day that Syria's foreign minister said President Bashar Assad's government is prepared to hold talks with armed rebels. Rebels have vowed to stop at nothing less than Assad's downfall.


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