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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs