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At Least 6 Killed in Bomb Blast Near Shrine in Syria

Photo/AFP.

At least six people were killed, and more than 20 were injured after a bomb exploded near a Shia Muslim Shrine south of the Syrian capital Damascus, officials said.

According to Syrian state media, a vehicle bomb detonated on Thursday in a suburb of Damascus near the Sayyida Zeinab shrine, killing several people and injuring many more.
State media reported that the explosion was caused by a “bomb placed in a taxi by unidentified people”.

“We heard a huge blast, and people began to run,” 39-year-old civil servant Ibrahim told AFP news agency.

“Then ambulances arrived, and security forces cordoned off the area,” Aljazeera reported.
He said that Sayeda Zeinab’s mausoleum, the Prophet Muhammad’s granddaughter and Imam Ali’s daughter, was 600 meters from the explosion’s location, “near a security building.”

Early on in the conflict, as it evolved from an anti-government insurrection into a sectarian civil war, Shia forces adopted the protection of the shrine as their battle cry.

The deadly explosion occurred just before the Shia Muslim holiday of Ashura when they mourn the seventh-century conflict that claimed the life of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Hussein.

The Sayyida Zeinab area has had two explosions in the days leading up to Ashura. According to a police officer quoted by Syrian state media on Tuesday, a motorcycle loaded with explosives exploded, injuring two civilians.