September 27, 2012 / 2:56 PM / 6 years ago

Militant group claim Damascus army command bombing

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - An Islamist militant group claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack on the Syrian army headquarters in Damascus a day earlier, according to a statement posted on the Internet.

The Al Nusra Front said Wednesday’s assault was carried out in two stages, starting with a suicide bomber detonating a car near the building.

It said four suicide attackers posing as security guards entered the compound in a second vehicle, seized the first floor and engaged soldiers inside before detonating their car, setting the building on fire.

The statement, which featured photos of the building on fire, said all five militants died in the attack.

The Free Syrian Army, the main rebel force in an 18-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, has also said it was behind the attack and that dozens of people were killed.

The Syrian army said four guards were killed and 14 wounded in what it described as suicide attacks, and that no senior officers were among the casualties.

Al Nusra has claimed a number of major attacks in Syria in recent months, including a raid and bombing of a pro-government Syrian TV channel headquarters in July and twin bombings in Damascus that killed 55 people in May.

Reporting By Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Mark Heinrich

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