The Latest: Suicide bombers strike in Damascus, killing 1 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: Suicide bombers strike in Damascus, killing 1

October 11, 2017 - 6:35 AM

BEIRUT - The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Syria state media is reporting that at least two suicide bombers have struck outside the police headquarters in central Damascus, killing at least one person and wounding six.

The state news agency says the two attackers tried to storm the police command centre, igniting clashes with guards. The pro-government Al-Ikhbariya TV says the police encircled a third attacker, forcing him to blow himself up.

No one immediately claimed the attack, but al-Qaida, Islamic State and other insurgents have struck government targets in the capital in the past.

A similar attack on a police station in a nearby district last week killed 17 people. That attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.


3:40 p.m.

The Russian military is accusing the United States of turning a blind eye to deployment of militants in Syria.

The Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said on Wednesday that about 600 militants have moved from the area around Tanf near the Jordanian border in Syria's southeast, where U.S. military advisers are based. He says they moved to Tafas, about 300 kilometres (some 185 miles) west.

Konashenkov says the militants seized two humanitarian convoys in Tafas and that their relocation could derail a deal for a de-escalation zone in the area. He says the U.S. will bear responsibility if that happens.

The accusations appear to reflect Russia-U.S. tensions as U.S.-backed Syrian forces and the Russian-backed Syrian army race for control of oil and gas-rich areas of eastern Syria.


3:15 p.m.

The Syrian foreign minister is accusing the U.S.-led coalition of wreaking destruction in Syria while sparing the Islamic State group.

Walid al-Moallem said during a visit to Russia on Wednesday that the U.S.-led coalition has been "methodically destroying all except the IS." He claimed that Washington aims to destroy Syria's economy and drag the war out.

Al-Moallem said the Kurds are now vying for control of oilfields in eastern Syria and warned that Syria will reassert its sovereignty over the area. The Syrian army under Russian air cover has raced for control of oilfields in the eastern Deir el-Zour province.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the start of his talks with al-Moallem in Sochi that he would like to focus on a political settlement in Syria.


12:40 p.m.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group says an estimated 4,000 civilians are still trapped in the Syrian city of Raqqa, once the extremists' de facto capital, and that coalition allies are working out ways to evacuate them.

Col. Ryan Dillon says the Raqqa Civil Council, a local administration of Arab and Kurdish officials, is leading the discussions. It's not clear with whom the council is speaking inside Raqqa.

Dillon said on Wednesday that the coalition wouldn't accept a negotiated surrender of up to 400 militants believed holed up in the last part of the city that remains in IS hands.

Dillon says up to 15 militants have surrendered in the past three weeks in Raqqa. The battle for the city is in its final stages.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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