Blasts hit Damascus ahead of parliamentary election

One person killed and another injured in explosions at mosque in the south of the capital

Syrian men carry ballot boxes onto a bus to hand them over to the police, who in turn will deliver them to polling stations on the eve of the parliamentary elections, in the Syrian city of Aleppo on July 18, 2020. More than 7,400 polling stations will open at 0430 GMT in government-held parts of Syria, including for the first time in former opposition strongholds. / AFP / -
Powered by automated translation

One person was killed and another wounded in two blasts Saturday in the Syrian capital, state news agency Sana said, on the eve of the country's third war-time parliamentary polls.

It said "one person was killed and another wounded in the explosion of two devices near Anas bin Malik mosque" in the Nahr Aisha area of southern Damascus.

There were no immediate details on the blasts near the mosque, where President Bashar Al Assad has attended prayers in the past, or the casualties.

Syrians go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament as the Damascus government grapples with international sanctions and a crumbling economy after retaking large parts of the war-torn country.

Mr Al Assad's Baath party and its allies are expected to win most of parliament's 250 seats in the first elections since 2016.

For the first time this year, there will be polling stations in former opposition bastions, including in the Eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus and in the south of Idlib province in the country's north-west.

Damascus has largely been secure since Russia-backed government forces expelled rebels and extremists from the capital's doorstep in 2018.

Syria's war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since starting in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.