Two bombs explode near Shiite shrine in Damascus: Eight dead, 13 wounded

Beirut: Two bombs went off Saturday near the Syrian capital, killing at least eight people and wounding over a dozen others in the latest attack to hit the predominantly Shiite area in recent months, state TV and an opposition activist group said.

Syrian State TV said the blasts in the Sayyida Zeinab area just south of Damascus killed eight people and wounded 13 others. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the two explosions.

The Sayyida Zeinab suburb is home to a shrine by the same name, one of the most renowned in Shiite Islam. The heavily guarded shrine to Sayyida Zeinab, the daughter of the first Shiite imam, Ali, and granddaughter of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, receives thousands of Shiite pilgrims each year.

SANA said the first blast was caused by a suicide attacker wearing an explosives belt and took place at the entrance of Ziabiyeh district while the second explosion was the result of a car bomb in al-Teen street.

Sayyida Zeinab has been a frequent target of suicide and car bombings in Syria’s civil war, now in its sixth year. Some of them have been claimed by the Islamic State group.

On 25 April, eight people died when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-packed vehicle at a military checkpoint in the suburb.

In February, a series of blasts ripped through Sayyida Zeinab, killing at least 83 people and wounding more than 170.

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