News / Middle East

Bomb Rocks Syrian Capital, Killing 13

Security personnel walk in front of the former Interior Ministry building after a blast at Marjeh Square in Damascus, Syria, Apr. 30, 2013.
Security personnel walk in front of the former Interior Ministry building after a blast at Marjeh Square in Damascus, Syria, Apr. 30, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
— A powerful explosion went off in Damascus' historic Marjeh Square Tuesday morning, killing and wounding dozens. Government media put the casualty figures at 13 dead and over 70 wounded.

Ambulances and rescue workers evacuated the dead and wounded from Damascus' iconic Marjeh Square. Windows were blown out from nearby buildings, palm trees caught fire, and crumpled vehicles were strewn about.

Amateur video showed a thick cloud of white smoke rising over the city center while residents of nearby districts reported being jolted by the blast. It was the second powerful explosion to rock the Syrian capital in 24 hours.

The country's Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi reportedly survived a bomb blast Monday, which left several of his body guards dead and wounded. That blast, in another upscale district, hit in an area known for government buildings and embassy compounds.

Opposition forces have been increasing their attacks on Damascus as the fighting has dragged into its third year.

Several opposition activists claimed that a government military vehicle had been the target of the latest explosion. It was not possible, however, to confirm the report as Syria does not permit independent news media coverage.

The Syrian foreign ministry accused "terrorist groups" of being behind the two most recent attacks, according to the state news agency SANA. The ministry also claimed that al-Qaida's "cash, training and arms" were behind the series of recent attacks.

  • A Syrian man who was injured in a powerful explosion leaves a damaged building in the central district of Marjeh, in Damascus, Syria, April 30, 2013.
  • People stand on a street lined with a damaged building and destroyed cars after a blast at Marjeh Square in Damascus, April 30, 2013.
  • Syrian doctors treat citizens who were injured in an explosion in the central district of Marjeh, Damascus, Syria, April 30, 2013.
  • Syrian security officers, right, speak with shop owners at the scene of a powerful explosion that occurred in the central district of Marjeh, in Damascus, Syria, April 30, 2013.
  • Syrian firefighters extinguish a burned car at the scene of a powerful explosion which occurred in the central district of Marjeh, Damascus, Syria, April 30, 2013.
  • People walk on a street near the former Interior Ministry building and destroyed cars after a blast at Marjeh Square in Damascus April 30, 2013.
  • Security personnel walk in front of the former Interior Ministry building after a blast at Marjeh Square in Damascus, April 30, 2013.
  • People walk on a street lined with a damaged building and destroyed cars after a blast at Marjeh Square in Damascus, April 30, 2013.

Monther al Marcos, an opposition leader in Istanbul, told Al Arabiya TV that he thought the Syrian government was behind the bombings. He said the center of Damascus has "numerous government checkpoints," and is "difficult to enter without being searched."

Eyewitnesses also report that Syrian government planes bombed the Bab al Hawa border crossing with Turkey. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that several people had been killed.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid