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IS targets Damascus police HQ with suicide bombers

Friday, October 13, 2017

Damascus: Three suicide bombers blew themselves up near the main police headquarters in Syria's capital Damascus today, killing at least two people, the interior ministry said.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released via the Telegram messaging app.

The assault was the second time in a month that suicide attackers have targeted the capital, which has been insulated from the worst of the violence in the war-torn country.

State news agency SANA quoted Interior Minister Mohammad Shaar saying both of those killed were police officers.

Two of the suicide bombers detonated their explosives in front of the police HQ on Khaled Bin al-Walid street in central Damascus, his ministry said in a statement carried by state media.

"The terrorist suicide attackers tried to storm the police command headquarters... The guards opened fire on them, forcing them to blow themselves up before they entered the building and achieved their goals," it added.

Police surrounded a third attacker behind the building who also blew himself up, the statement said.

The interior ministry said two people had been killed and six wounded in the attack, among them two children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported five dead, not including the three attackers.

IS in its statement on Telegram said two attackers "entered the headquarters building and fought with those inside... Then detonated their explosive vests".

Damascus police chief Mohammed Khairu Ismail told reporters at the scene in the central neighbourhood of Qanawat that one of the dead was a policeman who tried to stop the bombers.

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