In this Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 photo, a boy runs for cover after a mortar shell hit a street killing several people in the Bustan Al-Qasr district of Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras)
BEIRUT (AP) -- A Syrian activist group says a car bomb in Damascus has killed at least nine people.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the blast in the Masakin Barzeh neighborhood late Thursday is expected to rise because many of the wounded are in critical condition.
Despite gains in other parts of Syria by rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad, he has largely kept his grip on the capital, Damascus.
The U.N. says more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising in March 2011. The conflict has since evolved into a civil war.