A car bomb went off near a Shiite shrine in southern Damascus on Saturday killing 17 people and injuring 14 others, state television said. The car packed with 200 kilos of explosives blew up near a security checkpoint on a road to the Damascus international airport at an intersection leading to the Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood, it said.
All the victims were civilian passers-by, the channel added, according to AFP.
The attack came at 8:45 am (0545 GMT) in the morning rush-hour in a teeming neighbourhood, the state-run SANA news agency said, quoting a Syrian official.
Sayeda Zeinab is popular among Shiites from Iran, Lebanon and Iraq who go there on pilgrimage to pray at the tomb of Zeinab, a grand-daughters of the Prophet Mohammed.
A Syrian counter-terrorism unit is investigating the attack, the agency said. The target of the bombing was not immediately known, and journalists were prevented by security forces from approaching the scene of the blast.