DAESH kills 45 in bombings near Syria’s Sayeda Zeinab shrine

Monitor says death toll rises to at least 60 from car bombing and twin suicide blasts carried out by DAESH terrorists in Syrian capital’s main Shiite quarter

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A man walks past damaged buildings in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria on January 23, 2016.

Updated Feb 21, 2016

The death toll of those killed in a car bombing and twin suicide blasts on Sunday in the main Shiite neighbourhood of the Syrian capital Damascus has risen to 60, including 25 Shiite militas, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said.

Earlier the Syrian Interior Ministry had said 45 were killed and at least 110 others were wounded.

DAESH claimed responsibility for the bombings. The terrorist group said in a statement on social media that two of its terrorists had detonated suicide bombs near the shrine.

State television reported that the blasts took place in the Sayeda Zeinab District where Syria’s most important Shiite shrine is located. The footage showed burning buildings and car wreckage in the neighbourhood.

A Syrian state news agency also cited an Interior Ministry source and said that a group of terrorists had detonated a car bomb near a public transport garage in the neighbourhood’s Koua Sudan area.

Two suicide bombers then blew themselves up nearby, as people were being rescued.

"Bodies were still being pulled from the wreckage," a witness told a state news channel.

The Sayeda Zeinab shrine is a holy area for Shiites from Iran, Lebanon as well Muslims from other parts of the world.

The blasts took place amid the Geneva meeting, the first UN-mediated peace talks in two years, between representatives of the Syrian regime and the opposition.

The UN said that it was aiming for six months of talks, first seeking a ceasefire and later working toward a political settlement for Syria.

The nearly five-year conflict has killed more than 250,000 people, driven out more than 10 million from their homes and drawn in global powers.

TRTWorld and agencies