Deadly blast at Syrian police club

  • 10/02/2016
A vehicle was detonated in a parking lot of the club (Reuters)
A vehicle was detonated in a parking lot of the club (Reuters)

Islamic State (IS) militants have claimed responsibility for a Damascus suicide car bomber who blew himself up at a police officers' club, killing at least eight people.

Syria's interior ministry said a number of people were also wounded in Tuesday's blast (local time) in Masaken Barza, a middle class district where several major government buildings are located.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence in Syria's civil war, said eight police officers were killed in the blast and at least 20 wounded after a vehicle was detonated in a parking lot of the club.

The ultra-hardline IS, in a statement on social media, named the bomber as Abu Abdul Rahman al Shami and said he had turned his enemies' "tranquillity into horror" to avenge what it called the suffering of fellow Sunni Muslims.

It put the death toll at 20 with at least 40 injuries.

An interior ministry statement said security forces prevented the suicide bomber from entering the heavily patrolled complex and that the blast occurred at its gates.

The last major blast in the Syrian capital occurred on January 31 in a Damascus district where Syria's holiest Shi'ite Muslim shrine is located.

The blast killed more than 70 people including at least 25 Shi'ite militiamen, and was claimed by Islamic State.