Damascus: A double bomb attack outside a Shiite shrine near Syria’s capital killed at least eight people on Saturday, in the latest in repeated deadly strikes on the revered site, state media said.
The official SANA news agency said a suicide bomber and a car bomb struck at the entrance to the Sayyida Zainab shrine, which is revered by Shiites around the world.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group, reported a higher toll of at least 12 people killed and 30 wounded in the blasts.
The shrine, around 10km south of the centre of Damascus, is heavily guarded by pro-government forces but has still been the target of several attacks, including those claimed by Daesh.
Syria’s official Al Ikhbariya channel showed images from the scene of burnt-out cars billowing with plumes of black smoke.
Firefighters battled to extinguish the flames as shop signs lay in the street.
The last attack on Sayyida Zainab on April 25 killed at least seven and wounded dozens.
A string of Daesh bombings near the shrine in February left 134 people dead, most of them civilians, according to the Observatory.
And in January, another attack claimed by Daesh killed 70 people.
Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah cited the threat to Sayyida Zainab as a principal reason for its intervention in Syria’s civil war on the side of President Bashar Al Assad.
The shrine contains the grave of Zainab, a venerated granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), and is renowned for its glistening golden, onion-shaped dome.