News / Middle East

Syrian Activists: At Least 9 Dead in Damascus Car Bombing

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Free Syrian Army fighter stands on a vehicle as he holds his weapon in Idlib province.
In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Free Syrian Army fighter stands on a vehicle as he holds his weapon in Idlib province.
VOA News
Opposition activists say a car bomb in the Syrian capital has killed at least 9 people, and say the death toll is expected to rise because many of the wounded are in critical condition.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the blast occurred late Thursday at a gas station in a northern neighborhood of Damascus.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Syria's state news agency SANA said the car bomb targeted vehicles waiting to get gasoline, and blamed the attack on "terrorists" -- a word frequently used by the government to describe rebels seeing to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Number of Syrian Refugees by Country

  • Lebanon: 177,654
  • Jordan: 167,959
  • Turkey: 148,441
  • Iraq: 67,720
  • Egypt: 13,059

Source: UNHCR
Activists on Wednesday blamed the government for an airstrike on another gas station near the capital, triggering an inferno that killed or wounded dozens of people.

Separately, activists reported intense overnight battles around a strategic air base in northern Idib province, describing the fight near the Taftanaz military base as an apparent rebel bid to weaken the government's air capabilities.

SANA said security forces "strongly confronted" an attempted attack by "terrorists" near the military base, and said the fighting began late Wednesday.

A similar attack, on Tuesday, prompted officials to close the airport in Aleppo.

The United Nations estimates 60,000 people have died in Syrian fighting, a figure that surpasses opposition estimates by about one-third.

Civil war between rebels and the Assad government has gripped Syria since evolving from peaceful anti-government protests in March 2011.
  • A child uses a megaphone to lead others in chanting Free Syrian Army slogans during a demonstration in Bustan Al-Qasr, Aleppo, Syria, January 4, 2013.
  • Demonstrators step on a picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a protest against his regime in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr district, January 4, 2013.
  • Damaged buildings and shops with members of the Syrian army patrolling in the distance in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, January 3, 2013.
  • Men stand amidst wreckage and debris after a car bomb exploded at a crowded gas station in Barzeh al-Balad district in Damascus, in this handout photograph released by SANA on January 3, 2013.
  • A father reacts after the death of two of his children whom activists said were killed by shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in al-Ansari, Aleppo, Syria, January 3, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters stand near a fire after shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, al-Ansari, Aleppo, Syria, January 3, 2013.
  • Residents wear masks as they search for bodies after shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, al-Ansari, Aleppo, Syria, January 3, 2013
  • Members of the Free Syrian Army stand behind a machine gun turret with a flag reading "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger" in Aleppo's Bustan Al Qaser district, Syria, January 2, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter asks a child to move away from his house's window as a security measure in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr district December 30, 2012.
  • A boy watches men dig graves for future casualties of Syria's civil conflict at Sheikh Saeed cemetery in Azaz city, December 30, 2012.

U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said death reports from seven separate sources were cross-referenced by experts to arrive at the new toll.

Journalist Moubayed says the estimate of 60,000 deaths is probably low.

"I think that the number of missing people is not taken into account. I think that there are much more casualties in terms of civilians and in terms of army personnel," he said. "Syrian TV, state-run media, has actually stopped reporting the number of deaths since July because the number of deaths in the armed force is so high and because reporting them would actually demoralize troops currently engaged in combat. I think that the death toll is much higher on both the government forces and the rebel forces."

Opposition activists say dozens of people waiting for fuel were killed Wednesday when a government warplane attacked a gasoline station near Damascus.

The strike in the eastern suburb of Mleiha, an area partly under rebel control, ignited a huge fire that sent black smoke billowing into the air.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Velayat from: Iran
January 04, 2013 2:30 PM
well, 9 more Arab dead... the question is - does it raise the number of dead Arabs in Syria to 40009... or 70009... or even 1000000009...? and who is counting...?? some Ali Mohammed form the UN...?? give us a break... please...

Arabs!!!


by: Anonymous
January 04, 2013 1:18 PM
On another note "Russia Set for Largest Naval Exercise in Decades"... Could the Russians be going in to roll out a red carpet for Bashar al Assad to safely escape Syria? The Russians will not say if their exercise is tied in with the war in Syria.


by: KsRobak from: Alameda CA
January 03, 2013 11:28 PM
Great activists, wonderful opposition- all very democratic and international law obiding. Perfect suitors for our allies.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
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.

AppleAndroid