News / Middle East

Scores Killed as Car Bombs Strike Syria

Photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian men carry a dead body at the scene where triple bombs exploded at the Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
Photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian men carry a dead body at the scene where triple bombs exploded at the Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
VOA News
Four coordinated explosions on Wednesday ripped through a government-controlled section of Syria's largest city, Aleppo, killing dozens of people and wounding nearly 100 others. The blasts gutted a military officers' club and a nearby hotel.

Opposition groups say at least 48 people died, mostly from the security services, while Syrian state media put the death toll at 31.

Meanwhile, a mortar shell fired from Syria hit the southeastern Turkish border town of Akcakale. Turkish media say five people, including a mother and her three children, were killed when the shell landed in a residential area. At least nine others were seriously wounded.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu phoned U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to brief him about the developments in Akcakale.

  • This image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network purports to show smoke rising from buildings following a huge explosion in Saadallah al-Jabri Square in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
  • Debris and damaged buildings are seen after blasts in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian men walking between destroyed buildings where bombs exploded in Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
  • This photo by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian men carrying a body after bombs bombs exploded in Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian security officers in front of destroyed buildings where bombs exploded in Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.

Aleppo bombings

Earlier in Aleppo, Syrian government forces fired into the air after the blasts as plumes of black smoke rose over the city's usually bustling Saadallah al-Jabri Square. Government-run television showed a large crater where it said one of three car bombs went off.

Clusters of young men picked through the rubble. Chunks of concrete, glass and twisted metal were thrown onto the pavement. Bulldozers worked to clear the debris.

Rami Abd al-Rahman of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says that the string of car bombs targeted government forces. He said violence by the government is provoking counter-violence by the rebels.

Syrian government media blamed what they called “terrorists” for the blasts. Parliament Speaker Mohammed Jihad Laham said that Syria's cultural and economic infrastructure is being destroyed.

Laham said that Aleppo, the capital of Islamic culture and of manufacturing, has fallen victim to an odious crime and disgusting terrorist explosions that have struck innocent people.

Some of Syria's deadliest bombings


  • December 2011: Suicide bombings kill 44 people outside a Damascus intelligence compound
  • January 2012: A suicide blast kills 25 people, many of them police, at a Damascus intersection
  • February 2012: Twin explosions in Aleppo kill 28 people
  • March 2012: Car bombs kill 27 people near intelligence and security buildings in Damascus
  • May 2012: Twin bombings in Damascus kill 55 people
  • October 2012: Car bombs in Aleppo kill at least 40 people
'Destructive confrontation'

Analyst Peter Harling of the International Crisis Group says that both sides have been engaged in what he calls an “extremely destructive confrontation” in recent weeks, but without making any “tangible gains.”

Harling does, however, see a glimmer of hope, as some reports indicate possible talks between the government and opposition factions.  

“We're in a phase of confusion and reconfiguration with some willingness among the more pragmatic players to see whether a return to politics is possible, although they're not quite sure how to go about it,” he said.

The joint United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is set to return to the region next week as he tries to revive efforts to end the 18-month conflict.

Heavy government shelling was also reported in the region of Homs, the outer suburbs of Damascus, parts of Deraa, and Deir Ezzor.

Refugees suffering

Inside Syria, VOA's Scott Bobb traveled on Wednesday to the Bab al-Salama camp for internally displaced persons, located a few kilometers from the Turkish town of Killis.  He said about 6,000 Syrians have fled to the camp in the last month.

"This upsurge occurred about a month ago when the bombing intensified by the Syrian air force on basically defenseless towns and civilians in northern Syria," he said. "People [were] just panicked and traumatized and decided to get out."

Bobb said the mostly Sunni civilians initially fled to Turkey, but large numbers are now forced to wait at Bab al-Salama until space becomes available in the Turkish refugee camps.

As Turkish officials let in hundreds of people each day, more arrive from deeper inside Syria, Bobb said.

"So it's a constant influx of hundreds, maybe up to a thousand a day at this one point," he said. "Multiply that by half a dozen or more crossing points in northern Syria and you can see why the United Nations is calling it a major catastrophe in waiting."

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ismail Aljazaeri
October 03, 2012 5:06 PM
Well done America, keep supporting terror until they hit you again. Obviousely US governement dont learn from past experiences.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid