At least two people have been killed and six others wounded after attackers blew themselves up near the police command centre in the Syrian capital, Damascus, according to state media.
Suicide bombers tried to storm the main police headquarters building and clashed with guards before detonating their explosive devices outside on Wednesday, Syrian state television reported.
Other reports quoting Syria’s official news agency said two bombers detonated their suicide belts outside the police station on Khaled bin al-Walid Street, while a third bomber blew himself up at the entrance of a clothes market on the same street.
“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 issue has been controlled.”
Amaq, the propaganda unit of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, reported the news without claiming outright responsibility.
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 raid.
Wednesday’s attack was the second such incident this month after armed men targeted a police station in Damascus’ al-Midan district on October 2.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has said September was the deadliest month of the conflict this year, with at least 3,000 people, including 955 civilians, killed.
“More than 70 percent of the civilians were killed in regime and Russian air raids, or in air raids of the international coalition” battling ISIL, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, SOHR head.
The number of people killed in September was higher due to increased fighting and “intensified air raids of the international coalition and Russia against jihadist bastions in the north and east of Syria, but also due to increased Russian and regime strikes on rebel-held areas”, Abdel Rahman said.
Backed by Russian air raids, the forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad are waging a battle to retake areas in the eastern province of Deir Az Zor controlled by ISIL.
A US-led international coalition has been providing air support to a Kurdish-Arab alliance, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), also fighting ISIL in its former northern bastion of Raqqa city and Deir Az Zor.