An explosion struck Bab Sharqi, the ancient quarter of Damascus' Old City, killing four and wounding many Thursday.
Syrian state television claimed the blast was a result of a suicide bombing, while opposition sources said it was a mortar attack.Syrian official news agency SANA reported that four citizens were martyred and eight others were wounded outside the Dar al-Ihsan charity center.
It said the suicide bomber blew himself up near a group of people as they received medical services at the charity, also reporting that the bombing caused massive material damage.
All4Syria opposition website however reported that the target, Dar al-Ihsan, is a Shiite institution that supports Assad’s loyalist militia, the 'Shabbiha,' and which has come under complete control by Hezbollah.
Reuters reported that the blast was the first major bombing inside the walls of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back some 4,000 years.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group, said two mortar rounds hit Amin Street, home to Shiite Muslim families who generally back Assad.