A car bomb exploded Monday in one of the largest public squares in Damascus, Syria, and a number of people are believed to have been killed, Syrian state TV reported according to CNN. The London-based opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack at Sabaa Bahrat Square killed at least eight people and injured dozens of others, citing reports from the group’s activists in the area. Gruesome video on Syrian state TV showed at least two mangled bodies at the scene, blood and rubble in the streets, significant damage to cars and buildings, and thick smoke. The square is surrounded by a compound of state buildings including the Central Bank of Syria. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blast. Syrian state TV reported that authorities preliminarily believe that the explosion was “caused by a terrorist suicide bomber in a car.” Syria is in the midst of a civil war with roots that date back to March 2011, when protesters, partly inspired by Arab Spring uprisings in the region, began demonstrating for more freedom. The United Nations estimates that more than 70,000 people have died in the violence. It is necessary that arms imports to all sides in the Syrian conflict are halted, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said in Hannover Monday, adding that Russia is ready to discuss this. “As for Syria we don’t have a solution yet.
What do I think should be done? Halt arms import to the country, but to all sides of the conflict,” he said at the annual industrial fair in Hannover. Responding to the allegations of Russia supplying weapons to Syria, Putin said, “We supply the legitimate regime. This is not prohibited by international law.”Moscow has repeatedly said that it is only fulfilling contracts that are already signed, which includes sending only defensive weapons.