Damascus The city of Damascus was hit by a bomb that caused the deaths of six and injured scores of people on Thursday when it detonated close to the Sayeda Zeinab mausoleum, which is Syria’s most popular Shiite holy site of pilgrimage The interior ministry said.
The devastating blast that struck south of Damascus was a result of the celebration of Ashura which is when Shiites pay tribute to the loss of Imam Hussein the great-grandson of Prophet Mohammed during a 7th-century fight.
The interior ministry gave a death count of six people, the state media agency SANA announced, revising a previous death rate of 5.
Over 20 were injured during the attack, which was interior ministry said was caused by a vehicle that exploded close to an auto, describing it as”a “terrorist attack”.
An official at the close Al-Sadr hospital informed AFP earlier this week that the hospital was home to 10 injured victims following a bombing in a car close to the holy site.
State TV said that the blast resulted from a “bomb put in the taxi of unidentified persons”.
“We received a loud blast and the people started to flee,” 39-year-old civil servant Ibrahim reported to AFP.
“Then ambulances appeared and security forces fenced off the zone.”
The explosion was said to have taken place “near the security facility, which is about 600 meters (yards) away from the tomb of Sayeda Zeinab”, granddaughter of Prophet Mohammed and granddaughter of Imam Ali, a founding leader of Shiite Islam.
Authorities had tightened security precautions around the mausoleum to mark the 10 days of the Ashura ceremony, one of which is the largest of the Ashura celebrations in Shiite Islam.
A blast occurred Tuesday from a car located within the same region injured two civilians, according to official news reports quoted an official from the security department in a statement.
A blast occurred Tuesday from a vehicle within the same region injured two civilians, according to official reports quoted by a security official in a statement.
Shiite shrines are often the victim of attacks carried out by Sunni Muslim extremists of the Islamic State group (IS) and not just inside Syria as well in neighboring Iraq.
The Sayeda Zeinab mausoleum was struck with a series of deadly bombings in the civil war in the country that started in 2011.
Since its inception, the complex of mosques featuring turquoise-colored ceramics as well as a gold dome in Iranian style is being defended by Shiite militiamen mainly Lebanese and Iraqi in addition to the military.
The number of attacks has decreased however in recent times, as have some security measures being eased.
IS claimed to be behind the double suicide bombing in February of 2016, located only 400 meters away from the mausoleum. It caused the deaths of 134, which included over 90 civilians.
The group also reported a triple bomb close to the sanctuary a few weeks ago that claimed the lives of around 70 persons.