The attack was near the Bab al-Saghir cemetery, which houses Shia mausoleums, with those targeted said to be pilgrims arriving by bus. Sunni militants often target Shias but attacks in the capital are uncommon. A nationwide truce brokered by Russia, Turkey, and Iran took effect on 30 December after talks in Kazakhstan, but sporadic attacks continue. (

“Indiscriminate and blind targeting of the innocent civilians including children and women indicates that terrorists are on the verge of frustration and helplessness and a way to find some relief from their many defeats on the ground in Syria and Iraq,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mr. Bahram Ghasemi.

“Their supporters in the region know well that the military front of the proxies had humiliatingly been crushed; for the very reason, they resort to suicide bombings through misguided means to impede the peace process and stability in Syria,” he concluded.

The explosions killed 47 pilgrims, most of them Iraqi Shiites, and 12 Syrian pro-government fighters, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

“There are also dozens of people wounded, some of them in a serious condition,” he told AFP.

A witness told AFP that the second bomb exploded as passers-by gathered at the scene of the first attack, and state television said a booby-trapped motorcycle was defused nearby. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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