13 killed in Damascus car bombing amid UN envoy visit

2012-10-21 23:57:43 GMT2012-10-22 07:57:43(Beijing Time)  SINA.com
Damaged cars are seen at the site where a car bomb exploded at a Christian quarter of Damascus, Syria, Oct. 21, 2012. Syria's state TV said 13 people were killed and 29 others injured in the blast that struck a time-honored square in the Syrian capital of Damascus earlier on Sunday. (Xinhua/Hazim)Damaged cars are seen at the site where a car bomb exploded at a Christian quarter of Damascus, Syria, Oct. 21, 2012. Syria's state TV said 13 people were killed and 29 others injured in the blast that struck a time-honored square in the Syrian capital of Damascus earlier on Sunday. (Xinhua/Hazim)
Blood stains are seen at the site where a car bomb exploded at a Christian quarter of Damascus, Syria, Oct. 21, 2012. Syria's state TV said 13 people were killed and 29 others injured in the blast that struck a time-honored square in the Syrian capital of Damascus earlier on Sunday. (Xinhua/Hazim)Blood stains are seen at the site where a car bomb exploded at a Christian quarter of Damascus, Syria, Oct. 21, 2012. Syria's state TV said 13 people were killed and 29 others injured in the blast that struck a time-honored square in the Syrian capital of Damascus earlier on Sunday. (Xinhua/Hazim)

The number of those who were killed as a result of an explosion in Damascus on Sunday is currently estimated as 13, and the number of those who were injured as 29.

The explosion took place at a crowded square in Damascus’s district of Bab Touma, which is populated mostly by Christians. Witnesses say that the explosion took place near a police office.

A local TV channel reports that the explosive device was hidden under a car.

UN envoy calls for Syria truce

UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has urged the conflicting sides in Syria to unilaterally cease fire for the duration of the Id al-Adha Moslem holiday, starting October 26.

Mr. Brahimi made the call after meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Saturday. He also met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem discussing with him the terms of the proposed truce and briefed the Syrian side on his mediatory effort and the results of his tour of several Middle Eastern nations.

Car bomb explodes in central Damascus

A car bomb exploded near a police station in the central Bab Touma district of Damascus on Sunday, witnesses said. State TV reports 10 deaths in Damascus bombing.

An official speaking to the AFP news agency reported seven deaths: "At least seven people were killed and many others wounded when a bomb or a car bomb exploded in Bab Tuma Square in front of the police station."

Ambulances sped to the site and security forces cut off access to the area. Several cars were burnt, the witnesses said.

The explosion took place as President Bashar al-Assad was meeting international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who has called for a temporary truce in Syria's civil war.

Syria envoy Brahimi meets Assad in Damascus

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who is pressing for a temporary ceasefire in Syria's civil war, met President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Sunday, state television said.

It gave no details of the talks. Brahimi has called for a ceasefire during the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday at the end of this week to stem the bloodshed in a 19-month-old conflict which activists say has killed at least 30,000 people.

Brahimi, the joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy for the Syria crisis, has been criss-crossing the region with the aim of convincing Assad's main backers and his foes to support the idea of a truce during the holiday, which starts at dusk on Thursday.

He held talks on Saturday with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, which the ministry described as "constructive and serious".

Syria has so far given a guarded response to Brahimi's ceasefire proposal, suggesting it wants guarantees that rebels would reciprocate any move by Assad's forces.

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Editor: Zhao Wei
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