Car Bomb Rips Through Damascus Gas Station
A car bomb tore through a gas station in the Syrian capital Damascus' district of Barzeh late Thursday, killing at least nine people, including children, and injuring 40 others, Xinhua reports.
The blast targeted the Qasioun gas station near the Hamish military hospital, the report said, adding that a huge fire has been caused. Firefighters arrived at the scene and managed to extinguish the fire.
The dead were all civilians who were standing in queues waiting to fill their buckets and plastic containers with heating diesel, the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV reported.
TV footage showed scores of scattered plastic containers floating on pools of diesel and blood amid strewn rubble and twisted debris.
Fire workers were also shown removing charred and mingled bodies from the street, some of them just remains.
The report placed the initial death toll at nine, adding that huge material losses have been caused.
On Wednesday, an air strike of the Syrian army hit a service station near Damascus, killing or wounding dozens of people, many of them horribly burned. The Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of activists, estimated that at least 50 people were killed and dozens of others wounded.
The attack followed one on New Year's Eve near Damascus, in which a number of civilians, mostly children, were killed.
The same day, activists discovered what they said were dozens of tortured corpses in Damascus.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since March 2011.
"Given there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013," Pillay said.
"The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking," she added.