ISIS claimed responsibility Saturday for suicide blasts that a monitoring group said left at least 20 people dead and more wounded in a predominantly Shiite suburb of Syria's capital.
The terror network released a statement claiming responsibility for killing and wounding more than 80 people in the Sayyida Zeinab area south of Damascus after three suicide bombers detonated two explosive belts and one car bomb, according to global security firm and NBC News analyst Flashpoint Intelligence.
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State media said eight people perished in the blast. But the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 20 were killed and the death toll was expected to rise because more were in critical condition. Thirteen of the dead were civilians, while seven were pro-government fighters.
Sayyida Zeinab is home to a shrine of the same name that thousands of Iraqi and Afghan Shi'ite militia recruits visit before being assigned to the front lines to fight ISIS and other Sunni rebel groups.
Syrian state TV aired footage from the blast site, showing several vehicles and shops on fire and at least two buildings whose balconies, doors and windows had been destroyed. Blood stains could be seen on the debris-covered road. Fire engines rushed to the scene to extinguish fires caused by the explosions.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement called the attack "appalling" and said "those responsible for attacks on civilians must be held accountable."
Washington condemned the attack in the strongest terms, said State Department spokesman John Kirby.
"This terrorist act demonstrates once again the inhumanity and brutality of all that (ISIS) does and all it stands for," he said.
Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.