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Syria: IS claims responsibility for twin attacks that kill eight

Syrian Army members inspect a damaged site after a suicide and car bomb attack in south Damascus. Credit: Reuters

Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for twin suicide and car bomb blasts that left at least eight dead and scores wounded in a Damascus suburb in Syria.

The claim was reported by the Amaq News Agency, which is linked to the group.

The attacks occurred in Sayyida Zeinab, home of Syria's holiest Shi'ite Muslim shrine.

The first attack was carried by an attacker wearing an explosives belt and took place at the entrance of to the suburb.

The second car bomb blast was detonated in al-Teen street, close to the shrine, the Sana news agency reported.

Food aid reaches besieged Syrian town of Daraya

Food aid has been delivered to the besieged Syrian town of Daraya for the first time in four years.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) said the food delivery was co-ordinated with the United Nations in Damascus and took place shortly before midnight on Thursday.

They added medical supplies were also delivered.

Last week, a joint convoy of the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross and SARC reached Daraya and delivered medicines, vaccines, baby formula, and "nutritional items for children" - but no food.

The UN estimates that 4,000 to 8,000 people still live in Daraya, which has been subject to a crippling government blockade since the 2011 uprising against president Bashar Assad.


First aid convoy in four years reaches Daraya in Syria

Credit: Local Council of Daraya City

Aid agencies have delivered relief to the beseiged suburb of Daraya, the first time it has been possible since the seige was started by government forces in 2012.

The convoy is a joint effort between the United Nations, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The convoy does not contain any food supplies, as it is a medical aid convoy with mostly medicine and medical equipment.

In a Facebook post, the Local council of Daraya City said: "A UN medical aid convoy has just entered the besieged city of #Daraya, to be the first aid support that reaches the city since the siege by Assad forces started in November 2012.

"This entry comes six weeks after a UN joint delegation visited the besieged city for assessing humanitarian conditions, and three weeks after a similar convoy was refused entry by the regime forces after reaching the surroundings of Daraya."

Syria negotiator quits over failure of UN peace talks

Mr Alloush said the UN-backed talks had failed to ease the plight of Syrians in rebel-held areas. Credit: Reuters

The chief peace negotiator of Syria's mainstream opposition has resigned over the failure of UN-backed talks in Geneva to reach a political settlement and ease the plight of Syrians in rebel-held areas.

Mohamed Alloush said in a statement that the talks had also failed to secure the release of thousands of detainees, or to push Syria towards a political transition without President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Alloush is also the representative of the powerful Jaish al Islam rebel faction in the Saudi-based High Negotiations Committee,

The UN-backed parties have not set a date for the resumption of the peace talks after the High Negotiations Committee suspended their participation until the situation on the ground in Syria has radically changed.


'More than 100 dead' in Syrian bomb blasts

There have reportedly been seven explosions Credit: Reuters

More than 100 have died in bomb blasts on two Syrian coastal towns, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The towns that were hit by blasts were Jableh and Tartus which are regime strongholds and have largely escaped the conflict so far.

State media said one blast had hit a hospital.

So-called Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the jihadist group's Amaq news agency.

At least two of the blasts were suicide bombs, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The organisation put the total number of explosions at seven - four in Jableh, in Latakia province, and three in Tartus province's capital farther south.

Smoke rises after explosions hit the Syrian city of Tartus Credit: Reuters
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