Damascus, Jan 31 (IANS) At least 45 people were killed and over 100 others injured on Sunday in twin bombings that rocked a Shia district south of Syria’s capital Damascus.
The bombings took place at the Sayyidah Zaynab district, where a key Shia shrine is located.
A security source told Xinhua news agency that the first explosion was caused by a suicide car bombing and the second occurred when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden belt in the midst of people who gathered at the first blast site.
According to authorities, the toll was likely to increase.
The shrine contains the grave of one of Prophet Muhammad’s grand-daughters, Sayyida Zeinab.
It continues to draw many Shia pilgrims and is protected by members of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group.
The attacks came as delegates from the Syrian government and opposition groups gathered in Geneva for tentative UN-sponsored peace talks.
The main opposition group backed down from its threat to boycott the talks but said the Syrian government must meet its demands if negotiations are to start.