This image posted on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 purports to show Syrian President Bashar Assad shaking hands with a solider during Syrian Arab Army day in Darya, Syria. Syrian state-run TV says Assad has visited a tense Damascus suburb to inspect his troops on the occasion of the country's Army Day. The visit on Thursday is Assad's first known public trip outside the capital, his seat of power, since he visited the Baba Amr district in the central city of Homs after troops seized it from rebels in March 2012. Daraya, just south of Damascus, was held by rebels for a long time and it took the army weeks of heavy fighting to regain control earlier this year. (AP Photo/Syrian Presidency via Facebook)
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian official and opposition activists say several large explosions have rocked regime-held districts in the central city of Homs.
An official at the governor's office in Homs says about 10 rockets slammed into the neighborhood of Zahra and the nearby sports stadium on Thursday, causing a large fire and inflicting several casualties.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.
A video posted online by activists showed a huge ball of fire over neighborhoods of Homs.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a rocket may have struck an arms depot, igniting the fire.
The explosions came as President Bashar Assad visited troops in a tense Damascus to mark Army Day and pledge victory over the rebels.
Mroue reported from Beirut.
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