The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has denounced a twin bombing in Damascus on Saturday, calling for a unified stance against different terrorist groups operating in the region.
"This heinous crime that targeted peaceful Muslims is an indication of the terrorists' remoteness from [religion] and taking up a Takfiri doctrine under the pretext of religion and the killing of believers everywhere,” Hezbollah said in a statement.
The statement came hours after the bombs ripped through buses carrying Shia pilgrims in an area near the Bab al-Saghir cemetery between the Damascus neighborhoods of Shaghour and Bab Musalla. Witnesses said the second bomb exploded when people had gathered at the scene of the first attack.
The pilgrims were expected to pray at the cemetery after visiting the shrine of Sayeda Zeinab, the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) outside Damascus, reports said.
"The terrorist mobs that have various names and affiliations are the result of an ideology based on the rejection of others [as] disbelievers and exterminating them ... which contradicts all divine teachings and laws and morals,” Hezbollah said.
It also urged joint efforts to "eradicate” terrorists, saying they “are being used by international and regional powers to implement hellish projects aimed at fragmenting the region and eliminating the resistance (Hezbollah)."
There were conflicting reports about the number of fatalities. Syrian state television said the double bomb attack left 40 people dead and 120 others injured.
However, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 74, including 40 Iraqi Shia pilgrims.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced that some 40 of its nationals were among the dead and 120 among the wounded.
The Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV channel reported that the Levant Swords, a terrorist group affiliated with the so-called Free Syrian Army, had claimed responsibility for the assault.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the attack as “heinous and shameful” and stressed that terrorists had resorted to “indiscriminate assassinations” due to “recurrent and disgraceful defeats in various fields.”
Additionally, Syria’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the UN chief and the UN Security Council, demanding the condemnation of the Damascus bombings.
The Syrian army troops and allied fighters have been fighting against several foreign-backed terror outfits that are wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.
Takfiri elements have lately increased their acts of violence in Syria in revenge for the blows they have been suffering on the ground.