News / Middle East

Blast Rips Through Syrian Capital

VOA News
A car bomb exploded Sunday in central Damascus, killing 13 people in the Syrian capital as U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi pressed President Bashar al-Assad to institute a cease-fire later this week.

The explosion near a police station in the predominantly Christian Bab Touma neighborhood also wounded 29 people. There has been no claim of responsibility for the blast.

The president's meeting with Brahimi was held behind closed doors in another part of Damascus.  The international envoy has urged both the Syrian government and rebels opposed to Assad to support a cease-fire during the four-day Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, which begins Friday.

Brahimi said after the talks that he has discussed the truce plan with Syrian opposition groups, receiving "promises" but no "commitment" that they would honor the cease-fire.
 
Syria's state-run SANA news agency said Assad told Brahimi that Syria supports his efforts, and is open to a solution that respects the country's sovereignty.

The secretaries-general of the U.N. and the Arab League have also called for a cessation of violence during the religious period, as part of efforts to end the 19-month conflict.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put Syria's death toll at 118 on Sunday, including 53 civilians, 19 rebel fighters, 4 defected soldiers and 42 regular soldiers.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: naksuthin
October 22, 2012 9:38 AM
The situation in the middle east is a sectarian powderkeg with Chritians, Sunnis, Alawites, Shiahs, Kurds and other minor sects rushing to fill in power vaccums.
The US should not make the same mistake it made in Iraq when it assumed that deposing Sadaam would lead to a unified democratic government. Instead it lead to a 7 year civil war between rival Muslim Sunnis and Shiahs with the US caught in the crossfire and many US soldiers dying as they tried desperately to calm the situation.

The US needs to stay out of the complex religious hatreds in the region...that are over a thousand years old.

Let the people of the middle east find their own solutions. America has plenty of problems of it's own to deal with here at home


by: Jackson 19 from: USA
October 22, 2012 9:30 AM
God help the Christians as the Islamists roam the Arab world overthrowing non-Sharia /non- Sunni governments.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid