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.

 

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

French lawmakers to debate recognition of Palestine

Oil prices nosedive in Asia after OPEC refuses to cede ground to US shale

Foreign workers will get more protection in Gulf

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Syria, Russia support UN in suspending Aleppo fighting

Powers to push for Iran nuclear deal before new deadline

Iraqi forces, tribesmen battle IS jihadists in Ramadi

Egypt jails 78 minors for pro-Morsi protests

OPEC meets for pivotal decision on oil output

US slams Assad regime for ‘continued slaughter’

Pope to rebuild bridges with Islamic world in Turkey visit

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote