The number dead from twin bombings targeting Shia pilgrims in Damascus
has risen to 74, a rights organisation has said.
Among the victims of Saturday’s blasts were 43 Iraqi pilgrims who had come to the Syrian
capital to visit Shia shrines in the famed Old City, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.
-based monitor said 11 bystanders and eight children were among those killed, as well as 20 members of pro-government security forces.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the observatory, said a roadside bomb detonated as a bus carrying pilgrims made its way through the Bab al-Saghir area of the Old City before a suicide bomber blew himself up.
Syrian state television on Saturday gave a toll of 40 killed and 120 wounded by “two bombs detonated by terrorists”. Iraq’s foreign ministry said around 40 of its nationals had died. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Shia shrines are a frequent target for Sunni extremists of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, not only in Syria but also in neighbouring Iraq
The Sayyida Zeinab mausoleum to the south of Damascus, Syria’s most visited Shia pilgrimage site, has been hit by several bombings during the war. Twin suicide bombings in the high-security Kafr Sousa district of the capital in January killed 10 people, eight of them soldiers. That attack was claimed by the former al-Qaida affiliate Fateh al-Sham front.