At least 40 killed in twin bombing at Damascus cemetery

Mar 12, 2017, 01:02
At least 40 killed in twin bombing at Damascus cemetery

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a roadside bomb blew up as a bus passed and a suicide bomber also detonated explosives.

Hezbollah condemned the atrocious, terrorist crime which targeted on Saturday morning the secure, innocent civilians near the Syrian capital Damascus and claimed dozens of martyrs and wounded from the visitors of the holy shrines.

Spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Jamal, described the attack as a "criminal terrorist operation".

The pilgrims were due to pray at the cemetery after visiting the Sayeda Zeinab shrine just outside Damascus, he said. He says a crisis cell was formed in coordination with Syrian authorities to determine the identities of those killed and wounded and to transfer them to Iraq.

Such crimes can never block the inevitable victory of the Syrian people and leadership over all the forms of terrorism, the statement added. The Iraqi foreign ministry said around 40 of its nationals were among the dead and 120 among the wounded. Saturday's twin bombing was one of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian capital, a monitoring group said. Arab TV Al-Mayadeen, airing the conflicting reports, also said at least 40 were killed. The explosions killed 47 pilgrims, majority Iraqi Shiites, and 12 Syrian pro-government fighters, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

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Some news agencies have reported a death toll as high as 60, though no official figure has yet been confirmed.

Daesh had claimed that attack.

Bab al-Saghir is one of the seven gates of the old city of Damascus and houses a cemetery where a number of early Islam religious figures, including family members of Prophet Muhammad and figures revered by Shias, are buried.

Attacks are not uncommon elsewhere in Syria, but they've become rare in the Syrian capital where President Bashar al-Assad has mostly solidified control.

A nationwide truce brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran took effect on 30 December after talks in Kazakhstan, but sporadic attacks continue.