Damascus Bombing Kills 60 people

 Children stand near damaged vehicles as residents and soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspect damage after a suicide attack in Sayeda Zeinab Children stand near damaged vehicles as residents and soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspect damage after a suicide attack in Sayeda Zeinab © Reuters/Stringer

31 January 2016
A car bomb and two suicide bombers killed at least 60 people, and wounds dozens others near a shrine in Damascus.


Sunni fundamentalist Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a car bomb and two suicide bombers that attacked an important stronghold of Shi’ite militias in the Sayeda Zeinab district of Damascus, killing at least 60 people and wounding dozens of others. The militia group first detonated a car bomb near a public transport garage. While people were being rescued, two suicide bombers blew themselves up nearby, increasing the death toll to at least 60.

The attack took place as Syria’s main opposition group was to meet with UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura in Geneva. European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the attacks were “clearly aimed to disrupt the attempts to start a political process.”

The site of the attack is near the Shi’ite shrine housing the grave of the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Taleb, Prophet Mohammed’s cousin, whom the Shi’ites believe to be the true successor to the prophet. This succession has been the centre of the dispute that led to the Sunni-Shi’ite schism. The shrine receives Shi’ite pilgrims from Iran, Lebanon and other regions. The region has also been the focus of Shi’ite militia groups coming from Iran to Afghanistan and Iraq, arriving in Syria to fight Sunni Islamist radicals and defend the shrine.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said that the bombings in Damascus confirm the link between a Saudi-backed opposition and terrorism. The United Nations is working towards a ceasefire and a political settlement for Syria after a five-year conflict that has killed over 250,000 people, and created more than 10 million displaced persons and Syrian refugees.  


To read more, visit:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160131/world/damascus-blasts-kill-at-least-45-as-syria-peace-talks-continue.600807
http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/95118-Blasts-close-to-Damascus-shrine-kill-30
http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/240857023/damascus-suburb-blasts-kill-60-near-shiite-shrine
http://www.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-syria-damascus-idUSKCN0VA1R9
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/reuters/toll-in-islamic-state-suicide-blasts-in-syrian-capital-rise-to-60---monitor/41930220

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