Dozens killed as twin blasts rock Damascus

2012-05-10 09:08
Flames and smoke raise from burning cars after two bombs exploded, at Qazaz neighborhood in Damascus, Syria. (SANA/ AP)

Flames and smoke raise from burning cars after two bombs exploded, at Qazaz neighborhood in Damascus, Syria. (SANA/ AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Damascus – Dozens of people have been killed and wounded after two powerful blasts in quick succession rocked the Syrian capital at morning rush hour on Thursday, state television said, blaming the attacks on "terrorists".

"Two explosions caused by terrorists took place on the freeway in the south of Damascus," the television said, adding that the blasts occurred "as people were heading to work and children to school".

Residents said the explosions rattled windows and sent plumes of smoke billowing into the sky.

Television footage at the site of the blasts, which took place on a freeway in the south of the capital, showed an apocalyptic scene with charred bodies and the carcasses of vehicles with smoke still rising from them.

The report did not give a breakdown on the number of people killed and those wounded, but said most of the casualties were civilians.

An AFP photographer at the site said a number of civilian cars were destroyed and buildings damaged. A crater 3m wide was caused by one of the explosions.

Day after convoy bomb

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said the explosions occurred at an intelligence services base in Damascus. It said at least one of the blasts was caused by a car bomb.

Damascus has been the target of a number of bombs in past months as President Bashar al-Assad faces a revolt against his regime which his forces are attempting to crush.

The blasts came a day after a bomb attack on a UN observer convoy in the southern city of Daraa, which injured six Syrian troops escorting the vehicles.

Responding to the Daraa attack, UN leader Ban Ki-moon warned Syria's government and opposition there is only a "brief window" to avoid civil war and indicated the future of the ceasefire monitoring mission was in doubt.

Highlighting an "alarming upsurge" of roadside bombs, alongside government attacks, Ban said both sides "must realise that we have a brief window to stop the violence, a brief opportunity to create an opening for political engagement between the government and those seeking change."

The Observatory says that almost 12 000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria since the revolt, inspired by Arab Spring uprisings, broke out in March last year.

Suicide bombing

About 800 of them have died since a UN-backed truce was supposed to have taken effect on 12 April.

Damascus was hit by two blasts on 6 May, with three soldiers wounded in one of the attacks. Television footage showed a mangled car destroyed by one of the explosions.

A deadly suicide bombing at Zein al-Abidin mosque in the capital's central Midan district on 27 April killed 11 people and wounded dozens, according to state media.

An Islamist group calling itself Al-Nusra Front had earlier claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing on 20 April near the Syrian city of Hama that targeted a restaurant used by the security forces.

The Syrian authorities regularly blame the blasts on "terrorist groups" they say are behind the violence that has swept the country for the past 14 months.

The opposition accuses regime forces of being behind the bombings in an attempt to discredit protesters demanding the ouster of Assad.

Read more on:    un  |  bashar al-assad  |  ban ki-moon  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.