At least 20 people were killed and an unknown number of others were wounded in three bombing attacks against the area around the Sayeda Zeinab Shrine in Damascus, the holiest Shi’ite shrine in all of Syria. At least 13 of the slain were civilians.
ISIS was quick to claim responsibility for the attacks, saying they involved two suicide bombers as well as a car bomb detonated remotely from the same area. State TV showed destroyed cars and shops in the area near the shrine.
The Sayeda Zeinab Shrine’s huge importance in Shi’a Islam has made it a major recruitment point for Shi’ite militias recruited from the region to fight against ISIS. Most of the militias wear patches identifying themselves as in Syria primarily to defend the shrine.
The shrine’s importance to the militias has also made it a popular target for attack by ISIS and other Islamist factions. This is the second major attack against the site this year. A January strike by ISIS killed 71 people, mostly troops.
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