Two suicide bombers struck close to the Syrian capital Saturday, killing at least 12 people and wounding dozens more in the latest attack to hit the predominantly Shiite area in recent months, state TV and an opposition activist group said.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombings through its Aamaq news agency, which said there were three attacks carried out by suicide bombers. Aamaq said two attackers were wearing explosive belts while the third was in a car.
Syrian State TV said the blasts in the Sayyida Zeinab area just south of Damascus killed 12 people and wounded 55 others. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the two explosions.
The blasts came as U.S.-backed fighters in northern Syria tightened their siege on the IS stronghold of Manbij, where tens of the thousands of civilians are trapped by the fighting. The Syria Democratic Forces, a predominantly Kurdish group, encircled the town after capturing dozens of villages and farms near the Turkish border.
“The push toward Manbij slowed down because of fear for civilians there,” said Mustafa Bali, a Syrian journalist who visited the front line. “All telecommunications with the town have been cut,” he told The Associated Press by telephone.
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