(Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed nine people including security officers at a Damascus mosque on Friday, Syria's interior ministry said, in another blow to a fraying U.N.-brokered truce between President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting for his downfall.
The explosion happened as worshippers were leaving the Zain al-Abideen mosque, which was under heavy security due to its reputation as a launchpad for anti-Assad demonstrations after Friday prayers.
A local resident said security officials at the scene told him a man in military uniform had triggered an explosives vest when he was challenged by soldiers as he walked towards the area.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. But it was close to the site of a January 6 suicide bombing which was claimed by a previously unknown anti-Assad Sunni Islamist group calling itself the al-Nusra Front.
(Reuters) - An Islamist group called "al-Nusra Front" claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide bombing which killed at least nine people in the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday.
The group named the bomber as Abu Omar al-Shami and said he detonated his explosives amidst 150 members of the Syrian security forces who were gathered outside the Zain al-Abideen mosque in the Midan district of Damascus.
It was not possible to verify the statement.
Al-Nusra has also claimed responsibility for a January suicide bombing in Midan and other bombings in Damascus and in the northern city of Aleppo.