Photo taken on March 11, 2017 shows scene after blasts targeting Iraqi Shiite visitors in Damascus, capital of Syria. At least 40 people were killed and 100 others wounded on Saturday when explosive devices ripped through busses carrying Shiite visitors close to the Shaghour area in the capital Damascus, a well-informed security source told Xinhua. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
DAMASCUS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- At least 40 people were killed and 100 others wounded on Saturday when explosive devices ripped through busses carrying Shiite visitors close to the Shaghour area in the capital Damascus, a well-informed security source told Xinhua.
The blasts targeted an area near the Bab al-Saghir cemetery between the Shaghour neighborhood and Bab Musalla area, said the source.
The security source said that the two bombings targeted two busses of Iraqi Shiite visitors, who usually come to the area to visit Shiite shrines in the Bab al-Saghir cemetery.
Local Sham FM radio confirmed that the explosive devices targeted buses of Shiite visitors in that area, placing the death toll at 40, saying most of those killed were Iraqis.
In Bab al-Saghir cemetery there are 11 Shiite shrines, usually a visiting spot for Shiite visitors.
The large cemetery contains graves of Sunni and Shiite people, as well as Shiite shrines.
The neighborhood of Bab al-Saghir, which the cemetery took its name from, as well a Shagour are also home to a blend of Shiite and Sunni Damascenes Muslims.
During the six-year-old war, tension between Shiite fighters and Sunni rebel groups started growing, as the Shiites emerged as backers of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, while the rebellion against Assad was driven by Sunni-dominated rebel groups.
Several previous bombings have targeted Shiite visitors in Damascus, but the intensity of such explosions have largely decreased recently, until the Saturday bombings.
Footages of the blasts were aired by the state TV, showing blown up busses, glass littered on the ground mingled with blood spots.
It's the latest sign of the sectarian tension in the war-torn country.