World / Middle East

Islamic State claims responsibility for Damascus police club bombing

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-09 21:45
DAMASCUS - The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at the Police Officers' Club in Damascus' northern district of Masken Barzeh earlier on Tuesday, the group said in an online statement.

The group said the suicide bomber, Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Shami, infiltrated by his explosive-laden vehicle the Police Officers' Club in the Masaken Barzeh district, north of the capital Damascus, killing about 20 and injuring 40 others.

"We have turned their security into a horror... and they will never feel the security, neither will their soldiers," the IS statement said.

"Wait for the next, it will be worse," the group said.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights placed the death toll at nine and those wounded at 20. It added that the suicide bomber was disguised in a police uniform and detonated his booby-trapped vehicle at the entrance of the club.

The UK-based watchdog group said the explosion is part of the series of explosions the IS has threatened to undertake against the capital Damascus.

Meanwhile, the official Syrian media outlets reported the blast, saying it rocked near the police club, placing the death toll at only four.

The Interior Ministry said the checkpoint, which is near the club, suspected the car and opened fire at the driver before reaching his destination.

A source told Xinhua that the blast rocked near the checkpoint, adding that the intensity of the blast was "mid-ranged," adding that 25 vehicles suffered damages, some of which were totally destroyed.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Masaken Barzeh is a district north of Damascus that has seen no car bombings before throughout the country's long-running conflict.

The club, which is for sport activities, is located inside a popular marketplace in that district, and face a residential area.
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