Monitor group says jihadists claim Syria attacks

This citizen journalism image released by Shaam News Network taken Sunday, July 1, 2012 purports to show people praying during the funeral of Zahar Radwan Ibrahim Massalmeh who was killed in fighting with Syrian government forces in Daraa, Syria. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS CITIZEN JOURNALISM IMAGE

BEIRUT (AP) — Shadowy militants claimed dozens of attacks across Syria, including some carried out by suicide bombers, a group that tracks jihadist chatter on the Internet said Tuesday.

The SITE monitoring group cited statements by the Al-Nusra Front on jihadist websites claiming the attacks were to avenge the killings of Syrians by the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Syria's widening insurgency has raised fears that Islamist extremists are playing a larger role in the fighting.

Among the dozens of attacks that Al-Nusra claimed throughout the county was one last week on a pro-regime television station that killed seven people. Gunmen targeted the studios of the Al-Ikhbariya TV station in the town of Drousha south of the capital Damascus on June 27. One guard said after the attack that he had been kidnapped with a number of other guards. He had been released; the others had not.

In the statement, Al-Nusra said the station was "one of the striking arms of the regime, for it lied and fabricated often," according to SITE.

It said the attack sought to make the station "taste from the cup of torture and fill its mouth and the mouth of every media official from the henchmen of the regime with bitterness, and to wonder: When will my turn come?"

The statement included photos of 11 men it said were kidnapped in the attack.

Al-Ikhbariya is privately owned but often acts as a regime mouthpiece.

Little is known about the Al-Nusra Front, and the statements could not be independently verified. The group has claimed past attacks in similar posts.