The Middle East Channel
Car bomb explodes in central Damascus
A car bomb exploded in a bustling area of central Damascus, killing 15 people and wounding at least 53, according to Syrian state news. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) attributed the blast to a booby-trapped car located near Sabaa Bahrat Square and Shahbander street, both of which are residential and commercial areas. ...
A car bomb exploded in a bustling area of central Damascus, killing 15 people and wounding at least 53, according to Syrian state news. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) attributed the blast to a booby-trapped car located near Sabaa Bahrat Square and Shahbander street, both of which are residential and commercial areas. The blast caused extensive damage, blowing out windows from nearby buildings and setting several cars on fire. AFP reports that gunfire was exchanged shortly after the explosion. In mid-February, a car bomb exploded in Damascus near the Baath party headquarters and the Russian embassy. Meanwhile, the government launched several attacks on opposition-held positions throughout the country in attempts to regain lost territory. They reclaimed control of Aziza, a town near the city’s military airport. Syrian warplanes attacked Alepoo, Latakia, Deir Ezzor, in addition to other locations. An airstrike on Sunday in Aleppo killed at least 12 civilians. SOHR reported that the opposition fighters helping to control these areas withdrew after they ran out of ammunition. Meanwhile, the United Nations continues to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use. "The use of chemical weapons by any side, under any circumstances, would constitute an outrageous crime with dire consequences and constitute a crime against humanity," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. He added that an inspection team is waiting in Cyprus for permission to enter Syria and begin their investigation.
- At least six people have died during clashes outside of Egypt’s Coptic Christian Cathedral. The fighting began after an argument on Friday escalated into a gunfight, killing a Muslim and four Christians. President Morsi has condemned the clashes and called for an investigation.
- Israeli government officials have dismissed cyber attacks on about 100 Israeli websites as insignificant. The attacks were perpetrated by the group Anonymous, which aimed to "wipe Israel off the map of the Internet" in protest over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
- Talks in Kazakhstan over Iran’s disputed nuclear program ended on Saturday without any progress or plans for more dialogue.
- Tammam Salam, a Sunni Muslim, was named as the new prime minister of Lebanon by the president. His father, Saeb Salam, had been the country’s prime minister for six times between 1952 and 1973.
- A suicide bomb and a grenade attack at a political rally in the Iraqi city of Baquba killed at least 22 people and injured 50.
–By Jennifer Parker