Suicide bombers kill 14 in Damascus

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency claims that two suicide bombers killed at least 14 people in an attack at a police station in the capital of Damascus today. From SANA:

14 people martyred and 31 others injured in a two terrorist suicidal bombings in al-Marjeh Square in Damascus on Tuesday.

A Police Command source told SANA reporter that two suicide bombers have blown themselves up near the Police Department in Damascus, causing the martyrdom of 14 people and the injury of 31 others.

The source added that the injured were admitted to the hospital as the explosion caused material damage at the site.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the civil war in Syria, confirmed that a suicide attack took place at a police station in the capital. From SOHR’s Facebook page:

15 were killed by 2 explosions in the al-Marja square of Damascus. 1 of the explosions was caused by a suicidal man inside the al-Indibat police station, the other took place outside the station. Most of the casualties and injuries are members of the police.

Although no group has claimed credit for today’s suicide attack in Damascus, it was likely executed by the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. The Al Nusrah Front stopped releasing propaganda on April 10 after a dispute emerged between Abu Muhammad al Julani, the terror group’s emir, and Abu Bakr al Baghdad, the head of al Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq, over the supposed merger of the two groups [see LWJ report, Zawahiri’s letter to al Qaeda branches in Syria, Iraq].

Reports of suicide attacks in Syria have dried up since the dispute between the two groups emerged; while the Al Nusrah Front may have conducted suicide attacks since April 10, it hasn’t advertised them.

So far this year, 18 suicide attacks have been reported in Syria; Al Nusrah has claimed credit for 14 of them. The Al Nusrah Front has claimed credit for 57 of the 70 suicide attacks that have been reported in Syria since December 2011, according to a tally by The Long War Journal (note that multiple suicide bombers deployed in a single operation are counted as part of a single attack).

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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