BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's Interior Ministry says at least five people were killed in a bombing attack today on the ministry's headquarters in Damascus.
Officials say three bombs caused walls to collapse. Activists report at least eight dead, most of them soldiers.
Rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad have been moving closer to the capital.
Today's blast came as more than 100 countries recognized the opposition umbrella group as the legitimate representative of Syria. The recognition, which came at an international meeting in Morocco, is a blow to the Assad regime.
The United States has also declared the coalition to be the "legitimate representative" of Syria's people. The moves open the way to greater humanitarian assistance -- and possibly even military aid -- to the forces fighting Assad.
But the presence of extremist groups among the rebel forces has raised concerns in the U.S. and in other nations that are supporting the opposition in Syria.
230-v-27-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--A bomb blast has rocked the Syrian interior ministry, killing at least five people. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo. (12 Dec 2012)
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232-c-13-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"the civil war"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports Syrian Interior Ministry in Damascus has been hit in a bombing attack. (12 Dec 2012)
<<CUT *232 (12/12/12)>> 00:13 "the civil war"