DUBAI (Reuters) - An Islamist militant group has claimed responsibility for coordinated suicide bombings in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo that killed 48 people, the SITE monitoring group which tracks Jihadist websites said on Thursday.
At least two car bombs exploded on Wednesday in the main Saadallah al-Jabiri Square and another bomb exploded a few hundred metres away, state media said.
SITE said Al Nusra Front claimed responsibility for “blowing up dens” in a communiqué posted on Islamist forums on Wednesday and provided details of its operation, pictures of the targeted buildings after the attacks, and the bombers.
The group said it targeted the Officers’ Club in Saadallah al-Jabiri Square, municipal offices, the Amir Hotel, and the Touristic Hotel, identifying each as being either command centres or barracks for security forces and “shabbiha,” pro-government militias.
The authenticity of the information could not be verified.
Rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad announced last week a new offensive in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial hub of 2.5 million people, but neither side has appeared to make significant gains so far.
The explosions also came a week after rebels bombed military command buildings in the heart of Damascus and clashed with security forces for several hours.
That was the biggest attack in the capital since July 18 when a bomb killed several senior security officials including Assad’s brother-in-law, the defence minister and a general.
Reporting By Mirna Sleiman; Editing by Dominic Evans and Jon Hemming