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Twin blasts kill 59 in Syria

DAMASCUS: Twin blasts killed at least 59 people and wounded 120 others on Saturday in Damascus, a monitoring group said.

The explosion killed 47 pilgrims, most of them Iraqis and 12 Syrian government fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

While Iraq’s foreign ministry said at least 40 Iraqi Shiite pilgrims were killed and around 120 wounded in Damascus. The explosions took place at the Bab al-Saghir Cemetery in the Syrian capital.

The attackers used improvised explosive devices, Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal said in a statement. The ministry said the pilgrims were visiting holy shrines at Bab al-Saghir, one of Syria’s largest and oldest cemeteries.

The Syrian government called the attacks “cowardly” acts of terror and asked the UN secretary-general and chairman of the UN Security Council to condemn them. Damascus told the United Nations that all entities participating in the Russian- backed peace talks “distance themselves from the terror organizations.