The Syrian government claimed that a “suicide terrorist” killed 25 people and wounded scores more in an attack in the capital of Damascus today. The blast took place near a school in the Maidan neighborhood, killing 25 people and wounding more than 40, according to Syrian news services.
“Immediate information indicates that a suicide terrorist blew himself up at a traffic light in the Maidan neighborhood,” state television said, according to Reuters. “There are dozens of dead and wounded, mostly civilians.”
No group has claimed credit for today’s attack. It could not be confirmed that the blast was carried out by a suicide bomber, as independent media outlets do not have access to the site.
In addition to today’s attack, the Syrian government has claimed that two other suicide attacks have taken place in Damascus since late December 2011. The Syrian government said that twin blasts targeting security headquarters on Dec. 23 were the work of al Qaeda. Over 40 people were reported killed and scores more were wounded in the blasts.
But no group claimed credit for the Dec. 23 blasts. In fact, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an al Qaeda affiliate that operates in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East, denied responsibility.
The Abdullah Azzam Brigades released an official statement denying any role in the Dec. 23 attacks and said the bombs were the work of the Mukhabarat, Syria’s military intelligence branch, which is controlled by President Bashir al Assad.
“The mujahideen, in all their groups, have no connection to these vicious bombings, and accusing them of it is falsehood and lies. The one truly responsible for them is he who is benefiting from them, and it is the regime of al Assad and his intelligence agencies,” the Abdullah Azzam Brigades said in a statement that was released on Dec. 27 and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Assad’s regime is fighting a rebellion that has seen hundreds of his soldiers defect to the Free Syrian Army. Assad’s security forces have ruthlessly put down protests in major cities and villages across Syria. His forces are said to have killed more than 5,000 Syrians since the uprising began last year, according to human rights groups.
Deadly bombing hits Syrian capital, NOW Lebanon
Adbullah Azzam Brigades denies responsibility for Damascus suicide attacks, The Long War Journal