Blast near Damascus as UN chief says Syria death toll hits 100,000 | News | DW | 25.07.2013
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Blast near Damascus as UN chief says Syria death toll hits 100,000

The Syrian conflict has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people since March 2011, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. A car bomb has killed 10 people in the most recent violence to plague the capital.

As the UN's top official announced Thursday that the death toll in Syria has climbed above the 100,000-person mark, another car bomb exploded in the outskirts of Damascus (pictured above). The violence is a stark reminder of how international diplomacy has failed to stem the crisis.

"We have to bring [the fighting] to an end," Ban said. "The military and violent actions must be stopped by both parties, and it is thus imperative to have a peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible."

Deadly bombing

Ten people were killed and dozens wounded in the lastest violence in Jaramana, just a few kilometers southeast of Damascus. No one has claimed responsibility for the deadly blast.

According to Reuters news agency, the state news agency SANA reported that the bomb hit the al-Siyouf Square in Jaramanah and blamed the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, an al Qaeda-linked group fighting with the rebels.

Jaramanah is a religiously mixed area mostly under army control that is home to both supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has been engaged in a civil war for more than two years, pitting al-Assad's government and troops against opposition rebels. Back in March 2011, the conflict got under way with mostly peaceful protests, but it has escalated into a civil war.

Government critical

The Syrian government, meanwhile, took the opportunity on Thursday to lash out at the US decision to send arms to rebels fighting troops loyal to al-Assad, adding that the US is now unsuitable to act as a broker at any future peace negotiations. Until recently, the US had refused to provide lethal assistance to Syrian rebels.

"The American intentions seek to continue the cycle of violence and terrorism in Syria in order to destabilize security and stability in the region," the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

tm/dr (AP, Reuters)