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Suicide, car bomb blasts hit Damascus suburb, at least 8 dead, says Syrian state media

An Iraqi Shiite woman visits a Shiite Shrine in Damascus on April 17, 2005 in Damascus, Syria. Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Amman Jun 11, 2016, 10.31 AM (IST)
At least eight people were killed and scores wounded in twin suicide and car bomb blasts today in a Damascus suburb that contains Syria's holiest Shiite Muslim shrine, state television said.

State media, which flashed the news, did not give further details about the bombings in the Sayeda Zeinab area, where at least three bomb attacks claimed by Islamic State militants have killed and injured scores of people this year.

A Shiite religious cleric said on the state-run Ikhbariyah TV channel that the car bomb blast was not far from the shrine area in the main al-Taen street.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, said the death toll was at least nine. The heavily garrisoned area is a well known stronghold of Lebanon's powerful Shiite Hezbollah group, a major backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Thousands of Iraqi and Afghan Shiite militia recruits, who volunteer to fight against the Sunni rebel groups trying to bring down Assad's government, normally come to the area before being sent to frontlines across Syria.

They say they come to Syria to defend the Sayeda Zeinab shrine from radical Sunni extremists.
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