Twin bombings kill 20 near Syrian capital: Monitor


A suicide bomber and car bomb struck at the entrance of the Sayyida Zeinab shrine on the outskirts of Damascus

Syrians sit on the first floor of a destroyed apartment following a double bombing attack on June 11, 2016 outside the Sayyida Zeinab shrine. (AFP)
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Last update: 
Saturday 11 June 2016 14:18 UTC

A double bomb attack outside a Shia shrine near Damascus killed at least 20 people on Saturday, a monitoring group said.

The official SANA news agency said a suicide bomber and a car bomb struck at the entrance to the Sayyida Zeinab shrine, which is revered by Shias around the world.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group, said at least 20 people were killed and more than 30 wounded in the blasts.

SANA gave a toll of at least 12 dead and 55 wounded.

The shrine, around 10 km south of the centre of Damascus, is heavily guarded by pro-government forces but has still been the target of several militant attacks, including those claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

IS claimed the attack via its Amaq news agency, saying it was carried out by three suicide bombers.

The Sayyida Zeinab shrine is a holy Shia site (WikiCommons)

The last attack on Sayyida Zeinab on 25 April killed at least seven and wounded dozens.

A string of IS bombings near the shrine in February left 134 people dead, most of them civilians, according to the Observatory.

In January, another attack claimed by IS killed 70 people. 

Hezbollah cited the threat to Sayyida Zeinab as a principal reason for its intervention in the civil war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad.

The shrine contains the grave of Zeinab, a venerated granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed, and is known for its glistening golden onion-shaped dome.