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

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid