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      Report: Official Gov't News Agency Bombed in Syria

      The offices of the government-owned Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) have been bombed in Damascus, according to Arab news reports.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 2/3/2013, 12:21 PM

      Syrian and Iranian officials meet in Damascus on security
      Syrian and Iranian officials meet in Damascus on security
      Reuters

      The offices of the government-owned Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) have been bombed in Damascus, according to Arab news reports.

      Syrian opposition sources were quoted in a television broadcast by the pan-Arab Al-Arabiya news network as saying that an explosion rocked the headquarters of the news network early Sunday morning. 

      No reports of injuries or damage in the attack were released, and the Syrian government immediately denied the report. Subsequent news of the bombing could not be found on Al Arabiya's website, in either the English language or in Arabic.

      SANA issued a statement on its own website dismissing news of the detonation of an explosive device at or near the agency offices as “baseless.”

      The agency attributed the report to “the misleading media campaign directed against Syria and the Syrian national media.”

      Members of the Engineering Units dismantled an explosive device Sunday at dawn, the news agency said, claiming the bomb was “planted by terrorists near the Obstetrics Hospital in [the] al-Halbouni area in Damascus."

      “Minor material damage resulted in the device’s dismantling but no casualties were reported,” it said. 

      Iranian and Syrian officials continue to work closely together on military strategies and other issues relating to fighting the ongoing civil war. SANA released to international wire services a handout photo of a meeting in Damascus on Saturday between Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi and Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili.

      Iran meanwhile vowed in a separate statement broadcast on own official Press TV  and then posted on its website, to retaliate against Israel using Syria as its proxy, for an attack last week on a military research center on the outskirts of Damascus where chemical weaponry was processed.