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WATCH : Tragedy Strikes: Several Killed in Devastating Bomb Blast Near Shrine in Syria

Explosive Detonates Near Shiite Shrine in Damascus Suburb Ahead of Ashura Holy Day, Several Casualties Reported

An explosive planted in a taxi detonated in a Damascus suburb near a Shiite Muslim shrine, just one day before the solemn holy day of Ashura, leading to several casualties. State-run Al-Ikhbariya TV reported injuries in the explosion that rocked the Sayida Zeinab suburb, but further details were not provided. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition war monitor, indicated that 10 people were killed or wounded in the blast.

Among the casualties, a woman lost her life, and her three children were wounded. The explosion occurred close to positions of Iranian militias, significant allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad alongside Russia in Syria's ongoing 13-year-long conflict.

Photos shared by Al-Ikhbariya and pro-government media showed the charred taxi surrounded by large crowds of people and armed men. The neighborhood was adorned with green, red, and black Ashura flags and banners.

In a distressing video circulating on social media, two men covered in blood and dust were carried off the ground while people called for help. The nearby shop facades had shattered glass, with one shop engulfed in flames.

The Sayida Zeinab neighborhood derives its name from the Sayida Zeinab shrine, the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad. The protection of this shrine became a rallying cry for Shiite fighters supporting Assad during the early stages of the conflict, which later transformed from an anti-government uprising into a sectarian civil war.

Ashura, one of the holiest months for Shiite Muslims, is observed on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram. It commemorates the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, and his 72 companions during the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the seventh century. Ashura represents the peak of the mourning procession.

Notably, this explosion marks the second incident in the Sayida Zeinab neighborhood in the days leading up to Ashura. On a previous occasion, Syrian state media reported that two civilians were wounded when a motorcycle rigged with explosives detonated.

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