Around 8:30am this morning, a large explosion ripped through a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims near a major Shiite religious shrine in Damascus killing a score of people.
The official, and mostly unreliable, Syrian tally places the number of dead at 1 Iranian and 5 Syrians.
…One such building [that was damaged] is the Khomeini Hospital named after the Iranian Ayatollah.
Other eyewitnesses said that the Syrian security, with offices not too far from the blast, has descended upon the scene in an attempt to suppress information and clear the area.
The blast coincided with Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, visiting Damascus for meetings with Syrian officials, including Assad.
The RPS lists several suspects: Iran, Israel, or Hamas, which would be a reaction to supposed pressure from the regime.
I personally disagree with the RPS’ argument and I think it is most likely the work of radical Islamic elements that were originally allowed into Syria so they could wage war on Iraq, or the Israelis. It is entirely possible that the bus was secretly transporting some sort of secret personnel, although that is speculation on my part.
The Assad regime is claiming that the explosion is the result of an accident.
“It happened while one of the empty bus’s tyres was being repaired. An explosion took place as result of the excessive pressure,” said the Syrian Interior Minister.