Double explosions kill dozens outside shrine near Syrian capital

Double explosions kill dozens outside shrine near Syrian capital
Two bombs went off near the Syrian capital, killing at least 20 people and wounding many more in the latest attack to hit the predominantly Shia area in recent months.
2 min read
11 June, 2016
The bombers struck at the entrance to the Sayyida Zeinab shrine [Getty]
A double bomb attack outside a Shia shrine near Syria's capital killed at least 20 people on Saturday, in the latest in repeated deadly strikes on the revered site.

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

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

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group, said at least 20 people were killed, including 13 civilians, and more than 30 wounded in the blasts.

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

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

Syria's official al-Ikhbariya channel showed images from the scene of burned-out cars billowing with plumes of black smoke.

Firefighters battled to extinguish the flames as shop signs lay in the street.

The last attack on Sayyida Zeinab on April 25 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.