Middle East

Syria conflict: Car bomb targets Damascus police club

Scene of Damascus bomb blast (09/02/16) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Guards prevented the suicide bomber driving his car into the police officers' club, officials said

Several people have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack on a police officers' club in the Syrian capital, Damascus, the interior ministry says.

The blast also struck a busy vegetable market in the north-eastern Masaken Barzeh district, state media said.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine police officers were killed and 20 were injured.

A militant from so-called Islamic State (IS) group carried out the attack, the pro-IS Amaq News Agency reported.

Last month, IS claimed responsibility for a multiple bomb attack near the Sayyida Zeinab shrine, south of Damascus, which left at least 71 people dead.

In Tuesday's incident, the bomber tried to drive his explosives-filled car into the police officers' club, but was stopped by guards, state TV cited an interior ministry source as saying.

The bomber "then detonated his explosives, causing deaths and injuries", it added, without giving further details.

The Syrian Observatory, which has a network of activists on the ground in Syria, said the death toll might rise from eight because some of those injured were in a critical condition in hospital.