A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows people transferring the injured after a blast in Damascus, Syria, Feb. 21, 2013. A big blast rocked a busy intersection in the capital Damascus Thursday close to the ruling al-Baath party headquarters, leaving unspecified number of casualties, witnesses and reports said. (Xinhua/SANA)
DAMASCUS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 people were killed and 208 others wounded Thursday when a suicide car bomber detonated himself at a busy intersection close to the ruling al- Baath party headquarters in a central district of the capital Damascus, the state media reported.
The blast rocked a crowded intersection grouping al-Eman Mosque and the Baath party headquarters at the outskirts of the central al-Mazraa district and adjacent to al-Thawra Street, the state- media and witnesses said.
The state-TV aired live footage of the blast site, showing haunting images of horrible destruction and carnage. Charred, mingled bodies were also seen scattered on burnt concrete as firefighters and paramedics were feverishly trying to help the injured people.
After the blast, the authorities arrested another would-be suicide bomber who was riding a car rigged with explosives in the same area.
The explosion was felt nearly two kilometers around the area, shattering glass in nearby buildings and sending ominous smoke plume above the city center. The blast was also followed with heavy gunfire as the authorities cordoned off the area and closed main routes to central Damascus.
Blasts and mortar attacks have become increasingly common in Syria as the rebels, backed by al-Qaida fighters, scaled up their attacks to wobble the regime's grip on power.
DAMASCUS, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- As the deadly conflict in Syria nears its second anniversary, the rampant unrest looks determined to rattle the core of the capital Damascus that had stayed largely calm amid the violence raging across the country.
Appalled by what has befallen other Syrian cities, the Damascenes are now more vulnerable than ever to see their city plagued with falling mortars and shouting blasts from the unabated violence engulfing its surroundings.Full story
MOSCOW, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Moscow on Wednesday called for the early launch of an intra-Syria dialogue between the government and the opposition as it saw promising signals to break the deadlock.
Russia believed a military approach could not settle the nearly two-year-old conflict in Syria and expected the intra-Syria dialogue would be launched soon, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the opening of a ministerial meeting of the Russian-Arab cooperation forum.Full story
CAIRO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations-Arab League (AL) joint envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi urged Sunday all sides of conflict in Syria, the Arab region and the international community to respond to the Syrian opposition leader's call for dialogue, official MENA news agency reported.
At a joint press conference with AL Secretary-General Nabil al- Arabi in Cairo, Brahimi said that the exiled Syrian Opposition Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib's call for dialogue with the government of President Bashar al-Assad was "still open."Full story