Rebels: Damascus bomb kills kids
(CNN) — Mangled metal, puffs of smoke, chunks of concrete, blood and a crowd of people walking around dazed, shocked and crying. That was the scene on a Damascus street Friday after a car bomb exploded and killed several people. Some of the dead were reported to be children.
The blast seemed to mock the truce that the Syrian government and rebels agreed to abide by earlier this week. The truce, negotiated by the United Nations’ special envoy to Syria, was supposed to last during Eid al-Adha, the four-day Muslim holiday that celebrates the end of the Hajj. A Syrian purportedly at the scene captured a video and posted it on YouTube.
CNN cannot verify that the footage is authentic, just like so many amateur videos shot during a war that foreign journalists have been blocked from covering.
Rebels said the blast went off near a playground.
This kind of violence isn’t normal in a neighborhood such as Zouhr, a government-held stronghold. Zouhr has been generally quiet; there are still pockets in the capital city that have avoided chaos.
That explains why parents might believe that they could safely bring their kids to a playground to celebrate Eid. There’s a mosque nearby, and it’s customary to gather with family and pray to mark the holiday.
About 15 minutes after the blast, Syria security forces showed up and shot directly at someone filming the scene, a source who CNN has spoken with before inside Syria recounted. CNN is not naming her to protect her safety.
“The people were mad with grief, with rage,” she said.
A small demonstration formed, as Syrians chanted against the Assad regime, she said.
They immediately blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for the bomb.
“The whole neighborhood came down to the street,” she said.
“It is really outrageous. We are enraged! Kids! In a playground! The families were trying to take them out of the environment of death and blood for one day,” she said. “For one day they were trying to make them forgot the bombs and the bullets that are surrounding us.”
It’s unclear who was behind the bombing.
Syrian state media blamed the blast on “terrorists,” a line the government has used since the beginning of the movement against al-Assad began in March 2011. Officials have constantly argued that the government has a right to respond to “terrorist” attacks, including bombings, as well as “terrorists” trying to reinforce their positions.
In almost two years, more than 32,000 people have died in battles involving rebels and al-Assad’s forces. There are also jihadist elements operating in Syria, CNN has reported.
A woman speaking for anti-government rebels blamed Syrian forces, and told CNN that most of the dead were children. Syrian state media reported that five people were killed and 32 wounded. Rebels said 10 were dead.
Because Syria has restricted the access of international journalists in the country, CNN can’t confirm reports of violence.
Rebels said the blast occurred in a public square where families were celebrating Eid. Their spokeswoman was not at the scene but said she was receiving reports from those who were.
The car bomb was perhaps the worst of the reported violence, but there were other incidents. At least 103 people were killed around the nation Friday, according to opposition groups. Both sides accused the other of violating the cease-fire.
“We are, again, calling on both sides not just to talk the talk, but to walk the walk, and we have seen some violations on both sides,” said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Earlier in the capital, snipers fired from buildings. Soldiers shot protesters elsewhere in the country.
Video on YouTube purportedly shows men walking down a street in Damascus carrying guns. Constant gunfire can be heard as well as a man repeatedly saying “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great.
CNN is unable to authenticate the footage.
The idea of a cease-fire was met with skepticism immediately after it was floated on Wednesday. Diplomats, experts in the region and rebels predicted that the agreement would fail.
They said Wednesday and Thursday that the effort would just be a repeat of a cease-fire failure in April.
Assad performs Eid prayers
Video reportedly shows bakery attack
Syrian rebels run to take position in the Bustan al-Basha district in Aleppo on Friday, October 26. Click through these photos from October; also see September photos from the conflict.
A member of the Free Syrian Army watches for snipers during fighting against pro-government forces in Idlib Governorate on Thursday, October 25.
A family crosses a street flooded by heavy rains in Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday.
Syria drivers attempt to drive through a flooded street in Aleppo, Syria on October 25. The Syrian military and the country’s main rebel force have agreed to halt combat operations starting Friday morning for the Muslim holiday weekend, but both also reserved the right to respond to attacks.
Members of the Free Syrian Army patrol an area under their control, as they advance on pro-government forces in Harem town, Syria on October 25.
People crowd around a bakery in the Salaheddin district of Aleppo, Syria, on October 25,
Civilians carry their belongings along a street strewn with garbage and debris following fighting between Syrian government troops and rebel fighters in the Salaheddin district of Aleppo, Syria, on October 25.
The Syrian Arab News agency (SANA) reported that a car bomb in the Tadamon neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, killed six people and injured 20 on Wednesday, October 24.
Cars destroyed by the car bomb explosion in Damascus on Wednesday.
Smoke rises after Syrian government forces shelled the outskirts of Atareb, Syria, on Wednesday.
A family drives through Atareb, Syria, which was recently shelled by Syrian government forces, on Wednesday.
Relatives of Syrian detainees who were arrested for participating in protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime wait in front of a police building for detainees to be released in Damascus on Wednesday. The Syrian government said it released a total of 290 prisoners who had not been involved in homicides.
A Syrian woman, displaced by the ongoing violence and living along a street in Aleppo, on Tuesday, October 23.
A woman sits on the sidewalk of a debris strewn street in Aleppo, Syria, on October 23.
A rebel fighter looks towards the crossroads, destroyed during fighting between government and rebel forces, in the Salaheddin district of Aleppo, Syria on October 23.
Rebel fighters have lunch in the old sector of the northern city of Aleppo, on October 23. Violence raged across war-torn Syria, a watchdog organization said, dimming hopes of a cease-fire for this week’s Muslim Eid al-Adha as proposed by UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
A shopkeeper clears the rubble from in front of his store in the old sector of Aleppo.
A member of the Free Syrian Army flees sniper shots from pro-government forces in Salqin, Syria, on Monday, October 22.
Members of the Free Syrian Army celebrate on a tank that belonged to pro-government forces after they took over the site from them early Monday in Salqin.
A member of the Free Syrian Army celebrates on the captured tank.
Syrian army soldiers run for cover during clashes with rebel fighters in the Karam al-Jabal neighborhood of Aleppo on Saturday, October 20.
Syria youths react following an airstrike by Syrian government forces in Maaret al-Numan on Thursday, October 18. Syrian regime warplanes launched a new wave of strikes on the northwestern town, seized by rebels last week, an AFP correspondent reported.
A wounded Syrian boy is carried to the hospital following Thursday’s airstrike in Maaret al-Numaan.
A Syrian rebel fighter mans an anti-aircraft heavy machine gun as he heads to the frontline in al-Bab near Aleppo on Wednesday. October 17. Rebels downed a helicopter in fierce fighting Wednesday with troops seeking to retake a key Syrian town, a watchdog said.
Syrian rebel fighters on Wednesday ride a motorcycle in Maaret al-Numan, an area under the control of rebel fighters in the northwestern Idlib province.
A Syrian rebel fighter holds a gun as he guards a post during clashes with government forces in Aleppo on Wednesday.
A handout photo from the Shaam News Network shows smoke rising after a Syrian Air Force fighter jet fired missiles at the suburbs of the northern province of Idlib, Syria, on Tuesday, October 16. Click through the gallery to view images of the war-torn country in October. See photographs from September.
Members of the Free Syrian Army check for snipers in the old part of Aleppo, Tuesday.
Damaged buildings are seen after they were fired upon by a Syrian government forces near the northern province of Idlib, Tuesday.
A Syrian man walks past destroyed buildings following shelling by regime forces in Aleppo on Monday, October 15.
A Free Syrian Army fighter climbs under barbed wire as he trains at their camp in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib in an area under the control of rebel fighters on Monday.
A young fighter climbs along a rope as he trains at a Free Syrian Army camp in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib on Monday.
Syrian rebels take cover during clashes with regime forces at the historic Umayyad Mosque in the old city of Aleppo hours before the Syrian army retook control of the complex on Sunday, October 14.
A Syrian rebel walks inside a burnt section of the Umayyad Mosque. Opposition activists reported that the 12th-century mosque was set afire during heavy fighting on Saturday, October 13.
A Syrian opposition fighter stands near a post in Aleppo on Thursday, October 11.
Syrians carry a wounded girl into a hospital in Aleppo on Thursday.
A heavily armed Syrian opposition fighter stands near a post in Aleppo on Thursday.
A Syrian man walks through rubble in Aleppo on Thursday.
A Syrian man and boy ride a horse cart in Aleppo on Thursday.
Smoke billows from buildings following shelling by government forces in Aleppo on Thursday.
Syrian people carry bread as they walk in the streets of Aleppo on Thursday.
Bodies of Syrian civilians lie in the back of a truck outside a hospital following shelling by Syrian government forces during clashes with opposition fighters in Aleppo on Thursday.
Syrian civilians walk in front of damaged buildings in Aleppo on Thursday.
Syrian opposition fighters walk in the streets of Aleppo on Thursday.
Syrian government forces take cover during clashes with rebel fighters at the Karam al-Jabal neighborhood in Aleppo on Thursday.
A Syrian opposition fighter flashes the sign for victory as he guards a post with his comrades in Aleppo on Thursday.
A Syrian man mourns the death of his father, who was killed during a government attack in Aleppo on Wednesday, October 10.
Syrian youths walk past graffiti in the rebel-held city of Minbej on Wednesday.
A Syrian rebel fighter holds a cigarette and prayer beads in Aleppo on Tuesday, October 9.
A Syrian man carries the body of his 5-year-old son, Mohammed Mustafa, outside a hospital after shelling by Syrian government forces in Aleppo on Tuesday.
An injured Syrian woman rides to a hospital after an airstrike by regime forces in Aleppo on Tuesday.
A Syrian rebel commander prays in a damaged mosque during clashes with government forces on Tuesday in Aleppo.
A rubble-filled street is seen during clashes between rebel fighters and Syrian government forces in the Saif al-Dawla district of Aleppo on Tuesday.
Relatives wheel a injured boy outside a hospital on Tuesday in Aleppo.
A Syrian rebel fighter takes position inside a house in Aleppo during clashes with government forces on Tuesday.
A Syrian man watches an army fighter jet flies over Aleppo on Monday, October 8.
A Syrian army fighter jet flies over the northern city of Aleppo on Monday.
A wounded Syrian rebel fighter holds his blood-stained hands as he receives treatment at a hospital near the frontline in the city of Aleppo on Monday, October 7.
Abdul Razzak from the Aleppo News talks on a walkie talkie in Aleppo on Monday.
Syrian rebels take up positions inside a building during clashes with government forces in Aleppo on Saturday, October 6.
Syrian members of the Al-Saiqa rebel brigade clean weapons on Saturday before going to the front line in Aleppo.
A Syrian rebel runs across a heavily damaged street to dodge sniper fire during clashes on Saturday.
Syrian rebels patrol a neighborhood in Aleppo on Friday, October 5.
A Syrian demonstrator shouts during an anti-regime protest in Aleppo on Friday. Tensions rippled across Turkey a day after Syrian shells struck a Turkish border town and killed five people.
A Syrian rebel takes position during clashes with government forces in Aleppo on Friday.
An injured Free Syrian Army fighter rests after receiving treatment at Dar al Shifa hospital in Aleppo on Thursday, October 4.
A child covers his wounds from a Syrian army sniper at Dar al Shifa hospital on Thursday.
A Free Syrian Army fighter cries after one of his friends was injured in fighting with government forces outside the Dar El Shifa hospital on Thursday.
A Dar El Shifa worker cleans the floor outside the hospital in Aleppo on Thursday.
Syrian rebel fighters look at a multirocket launcher in Tal Abyadh, a Syrian town close to the Turkish border, on Thursday.
Rebels climb the stairs of a destroyed building Thursday in Tal Abyadh.
Smoke rises from the explosion area after several Syrian shells crashed inside the town of Akcakale in Turkey, killing at least five people on Wednesday, October 3. It wasn’t the first deadly cross-border incident between the two neighbors during the 18-month-long uprising in Syria.
A police officer is injured in Wednesday’s attack on Akcakale in Turkey’s Sanliurfa province.
Three car bombs destroyed the area around a military officers’ club and a hotel in Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday. At least 40 people were killed and 90 wounded, most of them soldiers, a monitoring group said.
Car bomb explosions on Wednesday left a crater in the ground.
A nurse helps treat a 7-year-old girl who’s neck was badly wounded by shrapnel at the Dar Al Shifaa hospital in Aleppo on Monday, October 1.
Friends lay a rebel fighter on a gurney after he was shot in the chest during heavy battles in the Midan neighborhood on Monday. See photographs from September.
Photos: Showdown in Syria
Annan: ‘I cry everyday for the Syrians’
By sunrise Friday, thousands of people poured into the streets across Syria to protest against al-Assad.
Rebel groups reported these additional bouts of violence across the country:
At least three people were killed in tank and sniper fire in a Damascus suburb where government forces have been battling rebel forces on-and-off for control.
Fierce fighting broke out between government forces and the al Qaeda-linked al Nusra Front, which had said earlier it would not abide by the terms of the temporary truce.
The al Nusra fighters laid siege to a military encampment east of the city of Maaret al-Numan.
Government forces shelled a neighborhood in the flashpoint city of Homs where the opposition alleged six rockets fell, wounding two people and damaging a number of buildings. Video of the alleged destruction appeared on YouTube.
At least three people suffered gunshot wounds when Syrian forces fired shots in the air in an attempt to disperse protesters in the town of Inkhil in Dara province.
On the rebel side, a top Free Syrian Army general said Thursday his fighters had agreed to halt military operations if the Syrian government were to do so as well. But he said he doubted that the truce would hold.
Syria’s rebel opposition is fractured, and Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh said that some rebel groups have not agreed to halt operations.
The government, meanwhile, touted its several goodwill efforts Thursday leading to its announcement that it will stop fighting.
State-run TV aired footage of men walking out of a prison — part of a government amnesty program, a commentator said.
The release came a week after rebel fighters told Al Jazeera news agency that they would agree to a proposed cease-fire only if the government were to release detainees, end a siege in the city of Homs and halt aerial attacks.
CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter and Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.