Reporting from Beirut — Thousands of government supporters turned out Saturday for the funeral service for victims of a bombing in Damascus, the Syrian capital, waving flags and holding up pictures of President Bashar Assad, state media reported.
Syria's Interior Ministry has vowed to strike back with an "iron fist" after what it described as a suicide bombing in Midan, one of the few neighborhoods in central Damascus where major antigovernment protests have taken place. Authorities said 26 people were killed, including 15 who have not been identified, and 63 were injured in Friday's attack.
Crowds lined the streets in Damascus as a procession of ambulances, with lights flashing, transported the flag-draped coffins to Al Hassan mosque for funeral prayers, according to video broadcast on state television. "The people want Bashar al Assad," they chanted.
It was the second major attack in the capital in the last few weeks. Authorities said 44 people were killed and 166 injured when two suicide car bombers targeted intelligence agencies Dec. 23.