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Syria street market suicide bombing kills 38

A suicide bombing at a vegetable market in the southern Syrian city of As-Suwayda killed 38 people, state-run Ikhbariya TV reported on Wednesday.

State media blamed the attack on ISIS. State TV showed footage of charred bodies, damaged vehicles and a blown-up street market.

Syrian forces thwarted two other attacks in As-Suwayda, shooting and killing two attackers before they blew themselves up, state-run media added.

ISIS, which maintains a presence in southern Syria, carried out simultaneous attacks on nearby villages in the same province, the official news agency SANA reported. The series of attacks began at dawn, according to Ikhbariya TV.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing so far. In recent weeks, Syrian government forces have intensified an offensive in southern Syria to eliminate remaining ISIS pockets in the area. The well-known rescue group the White Helmets say they have been caught in the crossfire.

The White Helmets have operated in opposition-held parts of Syria throughout the war. But in recent weeks, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have swept through rebel territory, recapturing scores of southern villages in a Russian-backed offensive.

ISIS affiliate Khaled ibn al-Walid Army remains in southern Syria’s Yarmouk river basin. Regime and Russian forces have been pummeling the area with airstrikes in an attempt to rout out the group.

Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been displaced by the military campaign.

Israel assisted with the evacuation Sunday of hundreds of the White Helmet rescue workers and their family members. But nearly 300 White Helmet workers are stranded in southern Syria, according to the rescue group.