Damascus trade fair struck by mortar shell

Damascus trade fair struck by mortar shell

Damascus trade fair struck by mortar shell killing six 

Six people are alleged to have been killed in Damascus after a trade fair taking place in the country’s capital was hit by rocket fire.

The Damascus International Fair, which took place on Sunday at Exhibition City, dates back to 1954 but was last held in 2011. It was once the leading event on Syria’s economic calendar. As business representatives from more than 45 countries gathered at the location, the event represented a country rising from the ashes.

 According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors conflict, approximately six people including two women were killed and dozens more injured close to the fair’s entrance.

A source at a hospital in Jaramana, an area southwest of the capital, told the AFP he had seen dead and injured people being evacuated from the scene of the attack.

Iyad al-Jabiri, 39, who was working at a textile stand at the fair told the AFP: “We were preparing to receive visitors when I heard an explosion… then I saw smoke to the side of the entrance to the exhibition hall.”

Damascus has been shielded from the worst of the violence in the country, however, the bloody civil war has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.

The Middle East Eye reports that the United States and countries in Europe – which maintain economic sanctions on the Assad government – were not officially invited, although a handful of Western companies are attending on an individual basis.