Twin Damascus bombs kill 59, mostly Iraqi pilgrims | 2017-03-12 |

Twin Damascus bombs kill 59, mostly Iraqi pilgrims

Sun Online Desk     12th March, 2017 12:32:18 printer

Twin Damascus bombs kill 59, mostly Iraqi pilgrims

Twin bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims killed 59 people in Damascus on Saturday, most of them Iraqis, a monitoring group said of one of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian capital.


There have been periodic bombings in Damascus, but the stronghold of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has been largely spared the destruction faced by other major cities in six years of civil war.


A roadside bomb detonated as a bus passed by and a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Bab al-Saghir area, which houses several Shiite mausoleums that draw pilgrims from around the world, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.


The explosions killed 47 pilgrims, most of them Iraqi Shiites, and 12 Syrian pro-government fighters, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.


"There are also dozens of people wounded, some of them in a serious condition," he told AFP.


Syrian state television said 40 people were killed and 120 wounded after "terrorists detonated two bombs".


It broadcast footage of several white buses with their windows shattered, some charred and peppered with shrapnel.


Shoes, glasses and wheelchairs lay scattered on ground covered in blood.


Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Shaar said the attack targeted "pilgrims of various Arab nationalities".


"The sole aim was to kill," he said.


The Iraqi foreign ministry said around 40 of its nationals were among the dead and 120 among the wounded.


A witness told AFP that the second bomb exploded as passers-by gathered at the scene of the first attack, and state television said a booby-trapped motorcycle was defused nearby.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Source: AFP