Syrian violence escalates: deadly bomb strikes fuel station | Pakistan Today

Syrian violence escalates: deadly bomb strikes fuel station

At least 11 people were killed and 40 wounded when a car bomb exploded at a crowded petrol station in the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday, opposition activists said.
The station was packed with people queueing for fuel that has become increasingly scarce during the country’s 21-month-long insurgency aimed at overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad.
The semi-official al-Ikhbariya television station showed footage of 10 burnt bodies and Red Crescent workers searching for victims on the site.
The opposition Revolution Leadership Council in Damascus said the explosion was caused by a booby-trapped car.
There was no immediate indication of who was responsible for the bombing in the Barzeh al-Balad district, whose residents include members of the Sunni Muslim majority and other religious and ethnic minorities.
“The station is usually packed even when it has no fuel,” said an opposition activist who did not want to be named.
“There are lots of people who sleep there overnight, waiting for early morning fuel consignments.”
It was the second time that a petrol station has been hit in Damascus this week.
Dozens of people were incinerated in an air strike as they waited for fuel on Wednesday, according to opposition sources.
In northern Syria, rebels were battling to seize an air base in their campaign against the air power that Assad has used to bomb rebel-held towns.
More than 60,000 people have been killed in the uprising and civil war, the United Nations said this week, a much higher death toll than previously thought.
Despite gains in other parts of Syria by rebels seeking to topple Assad, he has largely kept his grip on the capital.
But Damascus has been targeted by a number of large bombings, many of which appear to target government buildings. Some have been claimed by the opposition group Jabhat al-Nusra, which the US has designated a terrorist organisation.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s blast.
Masakin Barzeh is a middle-class neighborhood northeast of downtown that is home to many government employees.
The UN says more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising in March 2011. The conflict has since evolved into a civil war.



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