News / Middle East

7 Killed in Syria as More UN Observers Arrive

A Syrian man mourns a relative whose picture is displayed atop his coffin with Arabic words that read: "The Martyr, Atef Abdullah" during a mass funeral procession for several Syrians killed in a twin suicide bombings, at a mosque in Damascus, Syria SaturA Syrian man mourns a relative whose picture is displayed atop his coffin with Arabic words that read: "The Martyr, Atef Abdullah" during a mass funeral procession for several Syrians killed in a twin suicide bombings, at a mosque in Damascus, Syria Satur
x
A Syrian man mourns a relative whose picture is displayed atop his coffin with Arabic words that read: "The Martyr, Atef Abdullah" during a mass funeral procession for several Syrians killed in a twin suicide bombings, at a mosque in Damascus, Syria Satur
A Syrian man mourns a relative whose picture is displayed atop his coffin with Arabic words that read: "The Martyr, Atef Abdullah" during a mass funeral procession for several Syrians killed in a twin suicide bombings, at a mosque in Damascus, Syria Satur
VOA News

t least seven people were killed in anti-government-related unrest across Syria Saturday, as more United Nations observers arrived in the country.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government shelling and security force raids left at least three civilians dead, while the government said four security force members were killed near the capital, Damascus.  It blamed "armed terrorists" for the attacks.

Video of march
 

Syrians march for victim of Thursday's twin bombingsi
|| 0:00:00
X
May 12, 2012 5:46 PM
Syrians march at the funeral for Dima Farah, who was killed in Thursday's suicide bomb attack, at the Mar Elias monastery in Damascus, May 12, 2012.

The unrest took place as U.N. observers continued to fan out across Syria to monitor the government and the opposition's compliance to a cease-fire brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.

On Saturday, the monitors received 24 armored vehicles that were donated by the European Union.  The EU ambassador to Syria, Vassilis Bontosoglou, said the vehicles show the EU's support of Mr. Annan's mission.

Also Saturday, two Turkish journalists held in Syria for two months arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran.  Adem Ozkose and Hamit Coskun were freed after Iran mediated their release.

Video footage from Syria

 

Syria monitors receive 24 armored vehicles donated by EUi
|| 0:00:00
X
May 12, 2012 12:57 PM
On Saturday, the monitors received 24 armored vehicles that were donated by the European Union. EU ambassador to Syria Vassilis Bontosoglou said the vehicles show the EU's support of Annan's mission.

Meanwhile, a shadowy militant group has claimed responsibility for Thursday's twin bombings in Damascus.  In a video posted online, the al-Nusra Front militant group said it was responsible for the attacks that killed at least 55 people.

Syria's state-run SANA news agency said Prime Minister Adel Safar visited the blast sites, as well as wounded victims at a local hospital Saturday.  He condemned the attack as a "heinous act" with "no relation to any human values."

M.J. Gohel, a Middle East analyst and the head of the London-Based Asia-Pacific Foundation, said the al-Nusra Front group began gaining prominence only recently and its strengths and capabilities are unclear.

"This is a group that not a great deal is known about it," noted Gohel.  "It emerged at the beginning of this year in January and it has a global Jihadist agenda and it calls its fighters Mujahadeen in the same way as the Taliban fighters."

The U.N. says more than 9,000 people have been killed in violence related to the anti-government uprising which erupted in March 2011.
 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid