Death toll from Damascus bombing climbs to 74


The death toll from a double bomb attack targeting Shiites visiting a pilgrimage site in Damascus has climbed to 74, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported yesterday.

Most of the dead in Saturday's attack were Iraqi Shiites who were going to visit a cemetery near the Old City of Damascus. The Britain-based monitor said that 11 bystanders and eight children were among those killed, as well as 20 members of pro-government security forces.

There has been no claim of responsibility. The Hezbollah-run al-Manar TV station said it was carried out by two suicide bombers.

Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Saturday's terror bomb attacks in the Syrian capital Damascus. In a written statement, the ministry said: "We strongly condemn the bomb attack that targeted Shiite followers who were visiting their sacred sites, inflicting death and injuries on several people." The statement also hoped the wounded would recover quickly. Shiite shrines are a frequent target for al-Qaida and the Daesh terrorist organization, not only in Syria but also in neighboring Iraq. Damascus has seen several attacks since the Syrian conflict started in March 2011. In November last year, 20 people were killed in two suicide attacks in the mainly Shiite suburb of Sayeda Zeinab in southern Damascus. The Daesh organization claimed that attack.

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