Suicide bomb blast rocks Damascus, kills 25

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

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A handout picture from the official Syrian News Agency (SANA) shows onlookers gathering on January 6, 2012 at the site of a powerful explosion in al-Midan neighborhood in the heart of the capital Damascus. (Photo: AFP - HO - SANA)

Published Friday, January 6, 2012

Updated 2:16pm: A suicide bomber blew himself up at a traffic light in al-Midan district of Damascus, killing 25 and wounding 46, Syria's Addounia TV reported on Friday.

"In Damascus there are 25 martyrs, 15 of the bodies were in pieces, and more than 46 people were wounded, most of them civilians" it said.

State TV reported a suicide bomber struck a police bus in the al-Midan district.

"Immediate information indicates that a suicide terrorist blew himself up at a traffic light in al-Midan neighborhood," the television said.

Mazen Darwich, a freelance journalist based in Damascus, said that it was most likely policemen who were the main victims of the blasts, and not civilians.

“I think the majority of the victims are policemen, as their buses were totally destroyed.” he told al-Akhbar.

Darwich said a lot of police officers are usually on duty on Friday near mosques in anticipation of protests, making them prime targets for attacks.

A local resident confirmed with Reuters the large presence of security forces in al-Midan prior to the suicide blast.

"There is more security in al-Midan than usual because it is Friday and there are lots of military and security checkpoints," said a local resident, a private sector employee who declined to be named.

An opposition activist in Damascus said the pro-democracy movement had nothing to do with the al-Midan attack, suggesting that Islamist militants might have been involved.

"It seems clear that there is a growing extremist Islamist presence in Syria these days and I think there are hundreds of these extremists willing to fight the regime and blow themselves up in the name of jihad," the activist told Reuters, who asked not to be named.

"We will be seeing more and more of these explosions in Syria in the coming days, I am sorry to say," he added.

Darwich, also the director of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, warned that Syria is heading on a dangerous path and stressed the need to find a political solution to the 10-month-old crisis.

"The country is open for all kind of violence," he said, adding that "what's happening in Syria is dangerous, and this is taking us to another stage of violence."

"All will lose if we follow this violent path, so it's very important to have a political solution for the problems in Syria," he stressed.

Strewn body parts and splattered blood could be seen in extremely graphic footage being aired by state TV.

At least 44 people were killed last month by what the Syrian authorities said were two suicide bombings that targeted security buildings in the Syrian capital.

Damascus blamed al-Qaeda for the attack, a charge denied by the Syrian branch of the Islamist extremists.

Syria has been racked for 10 months by an uprising against President Bashar Assad in which the UN says more than 5,000 people have been killed.

The government says armed "terrorists" have killed 2,000 members of the security forces.

(Al-Akhbar, Reuters, Syrian state TV)

Comments

I get it that such methods are making even staunch supporters of Syrian "revolution" uneasy. But they have to choose - or believe so-called FSA, or not. What about "the clear threat that Col. Riyadh Al-As`ad (head of the Salafite Free Syrian Army) made only two days ago" (i.e 2 days before the mass-murder)? (http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2012/01/aljazeera.html)
Or does FSA is Assad tool?

of course, if one wants to be blind, one could fool oneself with youtube, and forget about reality.

How many "fake" bodies MT needs before seeing the NATO/Saudi/Zionist backed assault on Syria? Yes, on Syria, just as the same forces assaulted not just Saddam, but Iraq. Does MT wish to Syria the plight of Iraq?

I must be missing some important feature of reporting best manifest in this article.

Observe how a photo taken by a Western news agency is captioned:

"Israeli soldiers take part in a drill simulating a chemical warfare attack, at Zikim army base, near the southern city of Ashkelon 22 November 2011. (Photo: REUTERS - Amir Cohen)

This is from Israel.

But the one from the Syrian News Agency, the caption reads:

"A handout picture from the official Syrian News Agency (SANA) shows onlookers gathering on January 6, 2012 at the site of a powerful explosion in al-Midan neighborhood in the heart of the capital Damascus. (Photo: AFP - HO - SANA)"

It is, the caption points out: a 'handout picture,' from the dreaded 'Syrian News Agency'! That is: "Dear Reader: Do not believe what you see, It is from a Syrian agency. We are putting it up just to pretend to be impartial, OK?"

Everything that comes from the "West" is good - even if it was an Israeli correspondents in occupied Palestine. But no Syrians, please, unless they invite NATO and other White Men, in!

Strange!

Why dont Al Akhbar show these videos of fake victims and fake evidences planted by dounia TV crew on the bombing scene?

Here you go for funny regime bloopers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wmkak8eReY4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuMdNDTbR_k&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYm91zdTgcs&feature=g-all-lik&context=G22...

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