Islamic State claims responsibility for March 15 Damascus bombings

CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State claimed responsibility on Thursday for two suicide attacks that killed at least 31 people in Damascus on March 15.

The group made the claim in its weekly online newspaper al-Nabaa.

The newspaper said the two suicide bombers, identified by the group as Abu Musa al Golani and Abu Firas al Shami, had killed and injured over one hundred people in two separate attacks.

The first attack was on a courthouse in central Damascus near the Old City and the second struck a popular restaurant in the al-Rabweh area of the capital.

Only a few days before these attacks, scores of people, most of them Iraqi Shi’ite pilgrims, were killed in a double suicide attack in Damascus claimed by an alliance of jihadist groups known as Tahrir al-Sham.

Analysts expect that as jihadist rebels will increasingly turn to guerrilla attacks in territory controlled by the government as they suffer military setbacks in the campaigns to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Reporting By Ali Abdelatty; editing by Richard Lough