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An Al Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for twin blasts near holy shrines frequented by Shiites in the Syrian capital Damascus that killed at least 40 people.

The Levant Liberation Committee said in a statement Sunday that the attack was carried by two of its suicide attackers, claiming that they targeted pro-Iranian and pro-government militiamen.

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Saturday’s attack also wounded over a hundred, most of them Iraqis, according to Syrian and Iraqi officials. The Al Qaeda-linked group said the blasts were a message to Iran — a main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The attacks came two weeks after members of the same group stormed two different security offices in the central city of Homs, killing and wounding scores of people, including a top Syrian security official.



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