Suicide blast strikes North Damascus

Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a regime-controlled neighbourhood in Damascus

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Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility on Monday for a suicide attack hours earlier on a regime-controlled neighbourhood in Damascus, the group said via Twitter.

A monitor said three regime forces were killed in the blast, along with three attackers, but a security official denied that any troops had died in the attack.

The blast came in the Rukn al-Din neighbourhood, with the attackers on motorcycles detonating a suicide bomb when Syrian security forces came near, the security official told AFP.

"When they realised they could not escape, one of them detonated a suicide belt he was wearing," he said, saying security forces killed the remaining attackers.

The attack took place near a military building used by the Syrian army's logistics department.

"With the help of God, three of our lions were able to infiltrate the logistics building," Al-Nusra posted on Twitter.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said the blast had wounded General Mohamed Eid, head of the logistics division, and killed one of his security guards.

The monitor later reported that two members of Eid's division had died of wounds sustained in the bombing.

But the security official denied that Eid had been wounded, and said that none of his men were killed in the attack.

The Hisham Sinan hospital told AFP that six people were wounded in the blast.

Syria's state television station reported that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in the area.

Witnesses told AFP that an explosion had come from a small motorcycle rigged with explosives, which was followed by roughly 15 minutes of gunfire.

Rukn al-Din, in northern Damascus, is a relatively quiet neighbourhood dotted with small parks and government checkpoints.

Three people were killed there when an explosion struck in March 2013.

Rebel groups are entrenched to the east of Rukn al-Din in Eastern Ghouta, which has suffered from a crippling regime siege for nearly two years.

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