Car bomb kills seven near Syria Shiite shrine, says state TV
DAMASCUS – Agence France-PresseA car bomb killed at least seven people near the revered Shiite shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, south of the Syrian capital Damascus, on April 25, state television reported.
The bomb struck Al-Diyabiyah, a town that serves as one of the gateways for the many pilgrims from around the world who visit the Shiite holy site.
Another 20 people were wounded, state news agency SANA reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at eight. It had no immediate word on whether there were civilians among the dead.
The shrine contains the grave of Zeinab, a venerated granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed, and is known for its glistening golden onion-shaped dome.
The bomb struck a checkpoint near a construction site and left a small crater in the pavement, an AFP correspondent reported.
One of the guards manning the checkpoint told AFP his bomb detector began beeping when a suspicious pickup truck pulled up.
“We stopped the car at the checkpoint... When we began doing a manual search, they detonated the car. My colleagues were killed,” he said.
The windows of a small hotel across from the checkpoint had been shattered by the force of the blast.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it is delivering its second humanitarian aid convoy in as many weeks to an opposition-held town under siege in central Syria.
ICRC spokesman Pawel Krzysiek said the April 25 aid convoy to the town of Rastan, in Homs province, includes 35 trucks carrying food, delivery kits for pregnant women and anti-lice shampoo. The delivery was being carried out in partnership with the U.N. and the Syrian Red Crescent.
The town has been under siege since January. It received its first batch of humanitarian aid in over a year on April 21.