Deadly blasts near Syria's shrine leaves 45 dead
Jan 31, Damascus: At least 45 people have been killed and over 40 injured in three blasts near the Shia shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, south of the capital Damascus, official media said
The interior ministry said that the blasts, one of which was caused by a car bomb, happened near the Shia Muslim shrine of Sayyida Zeinab on Friday.
State television footage showed burning buildings and car wreckage in the neighbourhood where the shrine is located.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.
The shrine, which is highly revered by Shia Muslims, has been targeted before, most recently in February last year.
The attacks came as delegates from the Syrian government and opposition groups gathered in Geneva for tentative UN-sponsored peace talks.
The main opposition group backed down from its threat to boycott the talks. but says the Syrian government must meet its demands if negotiations are to start.
Syrian state media say the blasts near Sayyida Zeinab were caused by a car bomb and two suicide bombers.
More than 250,000 people have died and 11 million have fled their homes in almost five years of civil war in Syria. The violence has also been the biggest driver behind Europe's migration crisis.
The Oslo Times