News / Middle East

    Car Bombing Kills Scores in Syrian Capital

    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows flames and smoke rising from burned cars after a huge explosion that shook central Damascus,February 21, 2013.
    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows flames and smoke rising from burned cars after a huge explosion that shook central Damascus,February 21, 2013.
    VOA NewsEdward Yeranian
    Syrian state media say at least 53 people have been killed and more than 200 wounded in a car bombing near the headquarters of Syria's ruling Ba'ath Party in central Damascus.

    State media called the blast a "terrorist bombing" that struck a densely populated area near the al-Mazraa neighborhood. State television footage showed bloodied and charred bodies lying along the roadside in the aftermath of the attack, which took place near the Russian embassy.
     
    Click to Expand: al-Mazraa neighborhood of Damascus, SyriaClick to Expand: al-Mazraa neighborhood of Damascus, Syria
    x
    Click to Expand: al-Mazraa neighborhood of Damascus, Syria
    Click to Expand: al-Mazraa neighborhood of Damascus, Syria
    Video shows Red Crescent rescue workers picking through the rubble to rescue victims. Commuters at a major bus stop and children at a nearby school were reportedly among those killed and wounded.
     
    A young girl, dressed in a scout's uniform and trembling with fear, said she was thrown from her chair from the force of the blast and found herself on the ground.
     
    Syrian state media reported that a suspect was caught nearby before he could detonate another bomb. It said the man's vehicle was carrying five large water-heaters filled with explosives.
     
    A number of mortar rounds, meanwhile, fell in several parts of the city center.
     
    On Wednesday, Syrian activists said rebels shot down a warplane outside Damascus, shortly after a government airstrike killed at least 20 people in the same area.
     
    Opposition meets
     
    The Syrian opposition met Thursday in Cairo to discuss an initiative to possibly hold peace talks with President Bashar al-Assad's government.
     
    The opposition has offered to talk with regime officials who have "no blood on their hands," under the sponsorship of the United States and Russia. The Assad government has said it is ready to negotiate with the opposition but without pre-conditions.
     
    However, former United Nations peacekeeping spokesman Timor Goksel said both the rebels and the government appear to be feeling more confident militarily and are not ready to negotiate.
     
    "When both sides are confident, then there's a stalemate," Goksel said. "Yes, fighting is going on, but nobody is making any measurable gains, so it is sort of a frozen situation and I don't see why anybody will give up at this time. I don't think the fighting parties are under any pressure to reach a conclusion, yet."
     
    Elsewhere, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that 18 people were killed at a rebel-run medical clinic in southern city of Daraa after an airstrike by government warplanes.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Michael from: USA
    February 21, 2013 9:58 AM
    Civilian death, a draw on the closed version of universal asymmetries as a result of the Semitic mindset having to do with the chosen as a result from a divorce from kindness, concern, and giving God a good name

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora