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Deadly bomb blast near Damascus Shia shrine ahead of Ashura

A bomb killed six people and wounded more than 20 others on Thursday when it exploded near the Sayeda Zeinab mausoleum in Damascus, Syria’s most visited Shia pilgrimage site, the authorities said.

The blast near the shrine, which holds the tomb of a granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was caused when a motorcycle exploded near a taxi, the interior ministry said in a statement. It called it a “terrorist bombing”.

State television earlier reported that the explosion was caused by a “bomb placed in a taxi by unidentified people”.

The deadly blast south of the capital came ahead of the annual commemoration of Ashura when Muslims remember the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a seventh-century battle.

Ashura is the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram, which is one of the holiest months for Muslims. It marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and his 72 companions in the battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq.

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