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.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli