40 Shia pil­grims killed

New Straits Times - - World -

BEIRUT: Twin blasts near shrines fre­quented by Shia in the Syr­ian cap­i­tal of Da­m­as­cus yesterday killed at least 40 peo­ple, most of them Iraqis, ac­cord­ing to Syr­ian and Iraqi of­fi­cials.

There was no claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tacks. Is­lamic State mil­i­tants have car­ried out sim­i­lar at­tacks be­fore against Shia shrines in the Syr­ian cap­i­tal and else­where. Ex­trem­ist Sunni groups, such as IS, view Shia as apos­tates and con­sider shrines a form of idol­a­try.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mo­hammed al-Shaar vis­ited the wounded in hos­pi­tals. He said 40 were killed and 120 were wounded. He said the at­tacks tar­geted civil­ians, in­clud­ing Arab vis­i­tors, who were tour­ing area’s shrines.

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