DAMASCUS—At least nine Syrian military personnel, including an officer, were killed by a blast east of the capital Damascus on Tuesday, a monitor group reported.
The rebels’ Fajer al-Ummah, Arabic for the Dawn of Nation, detonated a tunnel in the eastern suburb of Harasta, near a military base, killing the soldiers, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UK-based watchdog group said the death toll will likely rise due to the large number of critically wounded soldiers.
It added that the Syrian army shelled Harasta on Tuesday, spelling no details on causalities.
Harasta is one of the key rebel-held areas near Damascus. This area is adjacent to the international road connecting Damascus with central and northern Syria.
The rebels in Harasta have repeatedly fired sniper shots at passenger buses on the international highway, prompting the government to assign a sub-road for passengers to skip passing near Harasta.