Al Qaeda claims responsibility of Damascus blasts

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 13 (ANI): An Al Qaeda-linked group has claimed the responsibility for twin blasts near holy shrines frequented by Shiites in the Syrian capital Damascus that killed at least 40 people. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham said the attack was "a message to Iran" over the country's support for Syrian president Bashar al Assad. The Levant Liberation Committee said in a statement Sunday that the attack was carried by two of its suicide attackers, claiming that they targetted pro-Iranian and pro-government militiamen. The attack also wounded over a hundred, most of them Iraqis, according to Syrian and Iraqi officials. The Al Qaeda-linked group said the blasts were a message to Iran - a main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The attacks came two weeks after members of the same group stormed two different security offices in the central city of Homs, killing and wounding scores of people, including a top Syrian security official. A nationwide truce in Syria, brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran, took effect on December 30 after talks in Kazakhstan, but sporadic attacks continue. There have been two rounds of talks, with another planned next week. Damascus is mostly under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but rebel groups are present in the outlying districts of the city. (ANI)