Fri | Aug 18, 2017

IS claims blasts in Shiite suburb of Damascus

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2016 | 2:54 AM

 BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the civil war in Syria (all times local):

6 p.m.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a triple blast in a Damascus suburb that killed at least 22 people.

The Aamaq news agency, which is affiliated with the group, said two IS fighters detonated a car bomb before blowing up their explosive belts in Sayyida Zeinab, a Shiite neighbourhood.

Residents said the attack was about a kilometre (0.6 mile) from one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines and did not damage it.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said the blasts killed 22 people, while the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 31 were killed and dozens wounded.

Different figures are not uncommon in the chaotic aftermath of such attacks.

A triple explosion in Sayyida Zeinab killed 45 people last month.

5:30 p.m.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV says explosions in a suburb of the Syrian capital killed 22 people and wounded dozens.

Al-Manar said Sunday's blasts were caused by a car bomb and two suicide attackers. Hezbollah is fighting alongside Syrian government forces and maintains a large presence in the Sayyida Zeinab area, where the blasts took place.

Syrian state TV showed still images of people running, damaged homes and billowing smoke. It provided no death toll. State TV earlier said two of the blasts were car bombs while the other two were suicide attackers on foot.

Sayyida Zeinab is home to one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines.

The blasts came hours after two explosions in the central city of Homs killed and wounded scores of people.

A triple explosion in Sayyida Zeinab killed 45 people last month.

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5 p.m.

Syrian state TV says four explosions went off in a predominantly Shiite suburb of the capital Damascus.

The TV had no immediate details but the pro-government Ad-Dunya TV station says the blasts on Sunday in Sayyida Zeinab killed and wounded a "large number" of people.

The Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV says the blasts occurred near a Shiite hospital in the suburb just south of Damascus. Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reports two blasts near al-Sadr hospital, saying they inflicted casualties.

Sayyida Zeinab is home to one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines.

The blasts came hours after two explosions in the central city of Homs killed and wounded scores of people.

A triple explosion in Sayyida Zeinab killed 45 people last month.

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10:25 a.m.

Syrian state TV says two blasts in the central city of Homs have killed 14 people and wounded 29.

The TV report said Sunday's blasts struck in the pro-government neighbourhood of Zahraa - a frequent target for similar explosions.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the first blast was caused by a vehicle rigged with explosives. It said it was not immediately clear if the second was caused by a car bomb or a suicide attacker wearing an explosive belt.

Homs, once dubbed the capital of the Syrian revolution, has been hit with a wave of explosions in recent months, killing and wounding scores of people.