Islamist group claims Damascus bombings
Published Saturday, May 12, 2012
Al-Nusra Front, an Islamist group unknown before the Syrian revolt, released a video on Saturday claiming responsibility for twin suicide bombings in Damascus that killed 55 people.
The video said the bombings on Thursday, the deadliest since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime erupted in March 2011, were "in response to regime bombing of residential areas in Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Daraa provinces and others."
Al-Nusra Front, which does not give a precise date for the attacks, says it has launched a "military operation in Damascus against the regime strongholds, targeting the Palestine branch of the security services."
Those were the buildings targetted in Thursday's bombings.
The statement accompanying the video, dated May 10 but posted on the site on Saturday, is titled "Communique No. 4," although the group has already posted seven such communiques.
The group has claimed responsibility for previous attacks, including double blasts in Damascus on March 17 that killed 27 people, as well as two other deadly explosions in the capital and two in the northern city of Aleppo.
Thursday's car bombings in Damascus left 55 dead and nearly 400 wounded, with the regime and opposition trading accusations of responsibility.
The regime has long claimed it is fighting an Islamist insurgency in the country, a claim initially dismissed by Western governments.
However last week the United States admitted that Islamist fundamentalists were exploiting the crisis Syria to try and take control of the country.