BEIRUT— An explosion rocked the Syrian capital of Damascus Tuesday in what Syrian state-run TV is calling "a terrorist car bomb," which detonated outside a police club in the north-eastern Masaken Barzeh district. At least eight people were killed and 20 others were injured. The number of dead is likely to rise as many wounded remain in critical condition, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The explosion happened when security forces stopped the explosive-laden vehicle at a checkpoint, preventing it from entering the police compound, according to a statement from the Ministry of Interior. The area is also home to several government buildings.
Preliminary reports from state-run media claimed that the explosion took place near a busy fruit and vegetable market, but it later retracted the news, according to Reuters.
— Hassan Ridha (@sayed_ridha) February 9, 2016
Forty minutes after the explosion, Islamic State group media outlet Al-Aamaq reported that the group also known as ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it targeted the police headquarters. This same news outlet claimed responsibility for a car bombing in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh Monday.
Last month, ISIS claimed a deadly suicide bombing near the Shiite shrine Sayyida Zeinab just south of Damascus that killed at least 71 people, including at least 25 Shiite fighters, injuring dozens of others.