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Islamic State group claims Damascus police headquarters attack

Three attackers blew themselves up near the police headquarters in central Damascus on Wednesday, Syrian state media said, in the second such attack to hit the capital this month. However, in a statement via the Telegram messaging app, ISIL, also known as ISIS, said three of its fighters with explosive belts carried out the attack.

Reuters reported, citing the Syrian interior ministry, that the attackers had attempted to storm the police station and confronted the guards before blowing themselves up.

"Our investigations are ongoing to find out where they came from and how", Mohammad Kheir Ismail, Damascus police chief, told state TV from outside the headquarters.

The interior ministry said two people had been killed and six wounded in the attack, among them two children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says clashes with militants intensified in the morning hours on Thursday in the town, as government forces advanced into the western and northern neighborhoods of Mayadeen, which lies on the Euphrates River. At least 17 people were killed in an October 2 attack on a police station in the southern district of Midan.

Syrian opposition activists say government troops are pushing deeper into an Islamic State stronghold in the country's east, the town of Mayadeen. But several such attacks have hit Damascus in recent years, including a vehicle bomb that killed 20 people in July.



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