At least 15 people were killed and 35 others injured on Monday when a car bomb ripped through a military checkpoint near the Syrian capital of Damascus, a military source said.
The driver passed through two military checkpoints but when he reached the third at the entrance of the town of Diyabiyah, south of the Shia district of Sayyidah Zaynab, the soldiers there insisted on thoroughly searching the vehicle. That is when the driver set off the car bomb, the source told Xinhua news agency.
The car was a white double-cabin pickup truck, laden with at least 100 kg of explosives, added the source.
If the vehicle had succeeded in passing through the third checkpoint unchecked properly, it would have reached a densely-populated area and the car bomb would have caused a massacre, according to the source.
Sayyidah Zaynab district has a Shia shrine containing the tomb of Zaynab, Islam's Prophet Muhammad's granddaughter.
The Sayyidah Zaynab tomb became a centre of religious studies of the adherents of the Shia sect of Islam and a destination of mass pilgrimage by Shiia Muslims from across the world.