Syrian authorities detain Suwayda bombing suspect
Syrian authorities say they have detained a member of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front group, which claimed responsibility for two deadly bombing attacks in the Druze Suwayda City.
Syrian state media said on Sunday that al-Wafed Abu Tarabeh was arrested over involvement in the attacks, which claimed the lives of as many as 31 people on September 4.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said authorities in Suwayda had “arrested the terrorist al-Wafed Abu Tarabeh, who confessed to responsibility for the two terrorist bombings on Friday.”
The first blast targeted a convoy of vehicles on the road known as Zahr al-Jabal on the city’s outskirts, while the second went off near Suwayda’s state-run National Hospital.
According to reports, Sheikh Wahid al-Balous, a senior Druze cleric, was among those killed in the first bomb attack. Balous led a battle against the al-Nusra and Daesh militants operating in the country.
Abu Tarabeh also reportedly confessed to participating in other attacks and acts of vandalism and theft in the city.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said an attack by armed men against a government building in the city killed six security forces following the double blasts on Friday.
Suwayda, which is a Druze-dominated city close to the border with Jordan, witnessed fierce battles between Syrian government forces and militants months ago. A large number of the Druze people supported the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad in the fighting.
The Druze made up three percent of Syria’s population prior to the start of the deadly foreign-backed militancy in the country in 2011, which has killed more than 240,000 people so far.
Damascus holds the militants backed by foreign governments responsible for the current situation in the country.