DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:00 P.M.) – Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as Jabhet al-Nusra, released today an official statement claiming responsibility for the twin explosions that hit two buses in the Syrian capital.
Yesterday, twin suicide bombings targeted two buses for Iraqi pilgrims visiting historical shrines in the old city of Damascus.
The official report puts the death toll to 74 including Iraqi pilgrims, the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDS) as well as civilians. More than 120 were also wounded in the explosions.
Following the attacks, strict security measures have been taken across the capital to ward off similar attacks.
Unofficial reports said that security authorities have dismantled a booby-trapped car and several IEDs in and outside Damascus.
The French Foreign Ministry condemned the attacks, and called for Russia and Iran, the main truce guarantors, to ensure the nation-wide ceasefire.
The deadly explosions were also condemned by Turkey and Algeria.
“We strongly condemn an attack that killed and wounded many people in Syria’s capital, Damascus, which targeted places that are considered sacred by Shia believers,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said on March 12.
“We vigorously condemn the double terrorist attack perpetrated Saturday in the Syrian capital Damascus against innocent citizens from various Arab countries which caused the loss of several human lives and in which many people were injured,” said Abdelaziz Benali Cherif, the spokesperson of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a communiqué