Syria's main transport artery, the M5 highway, links Damascus with Aleppo. Image: iStock

A bomb attack in the northern Syrian city of Afrin killed three people and wounded nine others on Sunday, according to a war monitor, on the first anniversary of a Turkish offensive on the Kurdish-majority region.

Another blast hit Damascus, which is a rare occurrence in the Syrian capital, as it has been largely insulated from violence during nearly eight years of war.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said a “bomb blast” had hit southern Damascus “without leaving any victims.”

It added, “There is confirmation of reports that a terrorist has been arrested.”

However, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor reported a “huge explosion” near a military intelligence office in southern Damascus that left a number of people dead and wounded.

“The explosion took place near a security branch in the south of the city,” and was followed by shooting, said the monitor, which has a network of sources inside the country.

“There are some people killed and injured, but we could not verify the toll immediately.”

It was unclear if the blast was caused by a bomb that was planted or a suicide attack, according to the monitor.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Meanwhile, Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired from Syria on Sunday after Damascus accused the Jewish state of carrying out airstrikes on the south of the country.

– with reporting by Agence France-Presse

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