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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


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