First Published: 2013-06-27

 

Suicide bomb targets Shiite charity in Syria Christian neighbourhood

 

Police blocks off road linking two historical neighbourhoods of Bab Tuma and Bab Sharqi, where bombing took place.

 

Middle East Online

Poisons of sectarianism seep into Syria

DAMASCUS - A suicide bomb attack in a Christian area in the heart of the Syrian capital on Thursday killed at least four people, state television said.

"A terrorist suicide bombing... in Damascus has left four people dead and several others wounded," the broadcaster said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the toll, adding that the likely target of the bombing was a Shiite Muslim charity located in the Christian neighbourhood.

"According to preliminary reports, four people were killed and several others wounded," said the Britain-based Observatory.

"The bombing took place close to the Ihsan charity, which is Shiite," watchdog director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

"I believe the charity was the actual target."

Though it began with peaceful protests calling for the fall of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Syria's war has grown increasingly sectarian over time.

The majority of Syria's rebels -- like the population -- are Sunni Muslim, while Assad belongs to the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Sectarian tensions have grown further in recent months, ever since the entry into Syria's conflict of Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.

Residents of the neighbourhood said the police blocked off the road linking the two historical neighbourhoods of Bab Tuma and Bab Sharqi, where the bombing took place.

A journalist saw a corpse stretched out on the pavement.

At least two shops were damaged by the blast, said the correspondent, adding that firefighters, security forces and soldiers were all deployed in the area.

Official television channel Al-Ikhbariya broadcast footage of the body of a man in a white T-shirt, saying it was the remains of the suicide bomber.

It also showed body parts strewn across the area.

On October 12, 13 people were killed in an attack in front of a police station in Bab Tuma.

In addition, the Observatory on Thursday reported shelling in nearby Al-Amin Street, also in old Damascus, without elaborating.

 

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison