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Islamic State group claims deadly Damascus court bomb

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for mid-March bomb attacks on a courthouse and restaurant in Syria’s capital Damascus that killed 32 people and were denounced by rebel groups.

The March 15 attacks were a rare assault in the heart of the Syrian capital, which remains under government control and has been insulated from much of the worst of the war’s violence.

The latest issue of IS’s Al-Nabaa magazine, issued late Thursday, cited a security source saying a first suicide bomber entered one of the city’s courthouses and opened fire before detonating a suicide bomb belt.

The magazine said the second attacker blew himself up in a restaurant, according to the magazine, which is distributed via social media sites.

At least 32 people were killed in the attack at the courthouse, with 100 wounded, and another 25 people were hurt in the restaurant blast, police said at the time.

Syria’s powerful rebel group Ahrar al-Sham issued a rare statement condemning “in the strongest terms” what it described as “criminal terrorist blasts”.

And even former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front distanced itself from the attacks.

More than 320,000 people have been killed since Syria’s war began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.


© Agence France-Presse