January 6, 2012
DAMASCUS, (SANA) – A terrorist explosion on Friday morning hit al-Midan neighborhood in Damascus, leading to the martyring of 26 and the injuring of 63 civilians and law-enforcement forces personnel
The explosion took place near Hassan al-Hakeem Basic Education School, an area that is crowded with residents and passersby.
Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Mohammad al-Shaar said that a suicide bomber exploded himself around 10:55 am targeting a traffic place crowded with inhabitants, passersby and shops in order to kill the largest number of citizens.
Lt. Gen. al-Shaar added in statement to journalists that the initial death toll of the terrorist bombing reached 11 martyrs, most of them civilians, in addition to the remains of 15 unidentified people put in medical cases , and 63 injured, noting that investigations are going on to indentify all the martyrs.
The Interior Ministry issued a statement confirming the information provided by Minister al-Shaar and pointing out that the bombing also caused considerable material damage to nearby cars and buildings, including al-Midan Police Department, Hassan al-Hakeem Basic Education School and stores.
The statement said that the authorities immediately headed to the scene and collected evidence including samples, body parts and explosives residue which were sent to forensic labs to identify the terrorist and the owners of the unidentified body parts and determine the type of explosive used in the attack, with preliminary estimations suggest that it consisted of ten kilograms of high explosives.
The Ministry affirmed that the authorities initiated investigations to uncover the details of the attack and arrest the terrorists responsible, affirming that it will strike decisively against those who threaten the security of the country and citizens, and calling on citizens to do their part by providing information and reporting any suspicious activity.
For his part, Minister of Health D. Wael al-Halqi said in a press statement that the medical cadres in al-Mujtahid Hospital immediately rushed to the place of the terrorist bombing to transfer the martyrs and offer aid to the injured and were able to save many of them.
Assistant Regional Secretary of al-Baath Party Mohammad Saiid Bkheitan, Prime Minister Adel Safar and the Ministers of Information and Health visited the injured victims of the terrorist attack.
In a statement to journalists, Bkheitan said that what took place was a terrorist and criminal acts in all sense of the word, and that such a crime cannot be affiliated to any religion and that those who committed it have no goal or cause other than murdering innocents.
He affirmed that such terrorism will not dissuade Syrians from adhering to their goals and national unity nor will it terrorize them, stressing that Syria faced many challenges across history and that it will remain strong and emerge victorious thanks to the resilience and unity of its people.
In turn, Premier Safar said that the patience of the Syrian people and their ability to confront and remain steadfast will foil all conspiracies targeting Syria, stressing that the goal of this criminal acts isn’t demanding reforms but rather it aims to undermine the resistant Syria.
He affirmed that Syria has made significant strides in reforms and will continue to implement them, adding that history will mark the sacrifices of the martyrs who fell in this attack.
This terrorist bombing is the third to hit the capital Damascus after twin terrorist attacks, less than a minute between them, targeted the State Security Directorate and another Security Branch in Damascus on December 23, 2011, marking an escalation in the terrorist attacks afflicting Syria at the hands of armed terrorist groups for more than nine months.
The two previous attacks, according to the investigations, were carried out by two suicide bombers with two booby-trapped cars, causing a death toll of 44 security and civilian martyrs and 166 wounded, the majority were civilians.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the modus operandi of the previous attacks and the selection of targeted areas (both of which are crowded in order to kill the biggest number of civilians possible) have the fingerprints of al-Qaeda all over them.
Najib al-Sayyed, a citizen, said that the Syrian people will never be defeated and always will be preserving their unity, security and stability whatever the terrorists tried to do to strike their national unity and fraternity.
Na’eem al-Omari directed a message to those who interfere in Syria’s internal affairs, saying that the old colonialism and tutelage era has gone a long time ago and that the Syrian people made their decision to stand by the comprehensive reform program.
He stressed that the people, through their unity and rallying around their leadership, are capable to overcome ordeals and obstacles no matter how hard the elders of sedition tried to spread division through misleading media channels that support them in the incitement on shedding more Syrian blood.
Widad al-Rashed denounced this terrorist act, underlining that the plots will fail due to the will, consciousness and national cohesion of the Syrian people.
She said that we are the sons of thousands-year old civilization and we will not be deviated from continuing the march of reform process and defending our homeland.
The martyrs who fell in the terrorist attack will be escorted from al-Hasan Mosque in Midan to their final resting places in a popular and official procession on Saturday afternoon.