NEWS | Damascus Twin Bombing Targeted Shia Muslims, 74 Killed

NEWS | Damascus Twin Bombing Targeted Shia Muslims, 74 Killed

Various Sources

NEWS | Damascus Twin Bombing Targeted Shia Muslims, 74 Killed

Image Attribute: Official Twitter Handle of Syria Today‏ @todayinsyria

Twin bombs killed 74 people in the Old City of Damascus on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on March 12, in one of the bloodiest attacks in the heart of the Syrian capital.

The monitoring group said the dead included 54 civilians and 20 security personnel.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told the AFP news agency that a roadside bomb detonated as a bus passed and a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Bab al-Saghir area, which houses several Shia mausoleums that draw pilgrims from around the world.

Most of those who died in the March 11 attack were Iraqi pilgrims who had come to the Syrian capital to visit Shi'ite shrines in Damascus's famed Old City.

The attack has left dozens of people wounded and some of them are still in critical condition, the observatory said.

That attack was claimed by former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front which said that it had targeted Russian military advisers working with the Syrian army.

Fateh al-Sham has been repeatedly bombed in its northwestern stronghold this year, not only by the Syrian army and its Russian ally but also by a US-led coalition battling IS in both Syria and Iraq.

Syria's state news agency SANA said 40 people were killed and around 120 others wounded by "two bombs detonated by terrorists."

Shi'ite shrines are a frequent target for Sunni extremist groups, such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State both in Syria and Iraq.

The Sayeda Zeinab mausoleum to the south of Damascus, Syria’s most visited Shiite pilgrimage site, has been hit by several deadly bombings during the six-year-old civil war.

Earlier in January 2017, twin suicide bombings in the high-security Kafr Sousa district of the capital, killed 10 people, eight of them soldiers.

NEWS | Damascus Twin Bombing Targeted Shia Muslims, 74 Killed

Image Attribute: Official Twitter Handle of P.M.O.I @Mojahedineng

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters
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