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Death Toll Up to 70 from Damascus Attack - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Death Toll Up to 70 from Damascus Attack

Death Toll Up to 70 from Damascus Attack

BEIRUT – The death toll from a suicide attack in Damascus on Sunday that was claimed by the ISIS militant group has risen to more than 70, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A car bomb and two suicide bombers attacked the Sayeda Zeinab district, home to Syria’s holiest Shi’ite shrine, as representatives of Syria’s government and its divided opposition began convening in Geneva in an attempt to start the first peace talks in two years.

The Syrian state news agency SANA has put the death toll from the attack at more than 50.
The British-based Observatory, which monitors the war using contacts on the ground, said the attack had targeted a military bus carrying Shi’ite militiamen who were changing guard, and that 42 of the dead were fighters allied to the government.

The Lebanese Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah and other Iraqi and Iranian militias have a strong presence in Sayeda Zeinab, which is a site of pilgrimage for Shi’ites from Iran, Lebanon and other parts of the Muslim world.
While much of the Syrian leadership is drawn from an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, ISIS espouses a radical version of Sunni Islam and considers other sects to be heretical.

The area witnessed heavy clashes in the first few years of the war, prompting the army and allied Shi’ite militias to tighten security, notably with roadblocks.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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