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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs