Eighteen soldiers were killed and 27 wounded when a military bus was hit by a bomb blast in a suburb of Damascus on Thursday, the Syrian Defence Ministry has said.
“A military bus in the Damascus countryside was hit by a terrorist blast with an explosive device previously planted, which resulted in the martyrdom of 18 soldiers and the injury of 27 others,” a military source was quoted as saying.
Earlier on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 17 and said the number of deaths was likely to increase as some of those wounded were in a critical condition.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
A decade of conflict in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of people and left the country fractured. Syrian government troops have managed to recapture much of the territory they had lost to opposition fighters.
Security incidents have been on the rise around Damascus and other parts of Syria controlled by the government.
The Syrian authorities have in the past blamed such attacks on ISIS militants active in southern and central Syria, despite losing territorial control in the country since 2019.