World News

    Death Toll Rises in Damascus Blasts

    A general view of the destruction after an explosion in central Damascus, Feb. 21, 2013.
    A general view of the destruction after an explosion in central Damascus, Feb. 21, 2013.
    VOA News
    A Syrian expatriate rights group says a series of bombings in Damascus has killed at least 83 people, including more than 60 near the headquarters of the nation's ruling Ba'ath party.  

    Most of the victims are said to be civilians, including many children from a nearby school, with 17 of the dead reported to be members of the security forces.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that Thursday's attacks included not only the blast at the Ba'ath party headquarters but another three car bombings that killed 22 people in the northern district of Barzeh, home to the nation's security headquarters.  Most of the dead were soldiers.

    The attacks, which also left hundreds wounded, resulted in one of the bloodiest days in the Syrian capital in nearly two years.

    Central Damascus has been relatively insulated from the nearly two years of violence in Syria.

    Syrian state media called the central Damascus blast a "terrorist bombing" that struck a densely populated area near the al-Mazraa neighborhood.  TV footage showed bloodied and charred bodies lying in the street.  

    Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition met Thursday in Cairo to discuss whether to possibly hold peace talks with President Bashar al-Assad's government.  

    The opposition has offered to talk with government officials who have "no blood on their hands."  The Assad government has said it is ready to negotiate with the opposition, but without pre-conditions.

    In New York, the United Nations and the Arab League have extended the mission of their joint envoy to Syria through the end of the year.  U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky announced that Lakhdar Brahimi's contract has been renewed through the rest of 2013.  It had been set to expire Friday.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    February 22, 2013 1:13 PM
    Another terrible dastardly terrorist attack against Syria's civilians, this time the victimes are probably mainly Shia civilians. As this conflict progresses, the victimes will shift from mainly Sunni to mainly Shia civilians. The world needs to continue to condem such dastardly massacres of civilians. Assad and his chronies need to step out of Syria; a cease fire, and an orderly transition of power needs to take place; with all foreign fighters departing from Syria, all large weapons need to be destroyed.
    In Response

    by: john from: usa
    March 04, 2013 8:45 AM
    The strange thing is that the US, who is deeply committed against terrorism, refused to condemn this Damascus terror bombing, at the UN Security Council.

    This is what Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister said.

    The Syrian authorities claim that the terrorist attack was launched by a group that’s involved with al-Qaeda, not surprising since the USA has listed the rebel AlNusra front as a terrorist group.

    The rebels have radical islamists who don't see a problem using suicide bombing in war.

    The same alqaeda that blow themselves up in other parts of the world, which the US is fighting in Afghanistan is unfortunately being supported by the US in Syria along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    We hear how Assad is the bad guy, killing his own people(which is the reason justifying foreign intervention), yet it was the rebels, not Assad who were responsible for killing all these innocent people in this horrific bombing in a populated city like Damascus.

    Not surprisingly, this suicide bombing is just one of many by the rebel forces in Syria.

    John Kerry has just announced 60 million dollars to aid the rebels. We can expect more suicide bombers killing even more innocent civilians as a result instead of having peace through political dialogue.







    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora