Nine-year-old girl detonates suicide bomb in Damascus


What was left of humanity died in Syria as young nine-year-old girl was made to blow herself up in a police station in the Midan neighborhood of Damascus on Friday, according to state news.

An explosion rocked the southeastern neighbourhood of Syria’s capital, with state-run Ikhbariya news channel showing blurred images of what looked like a blackened girl’s head in a blanket, and scenes of destruction inside what it claimed was a police station.

“A seven-year-old girl entered the police station, carrying a belt that was detonated from afar,” the Al-Watan daily posted on its Facebook page.

The news was confirmed by London-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

According to a witness, a young girl entered the police station and, after asking to go to the toilet, blew herself up, Reuters reported.

Although rebel groups have fired rockets and mortar rounds into the capital, explosions inside the city itself are rare.

In early 2012, a suicide bomber killed 26 people when he blew himself up in Midan.

However, at least four people were killed in a bomb blast near a Syrian Arab Red Crescent centre in the regime-held city of Homs in central Syria on Thursday.

State television reported the attack in the Zahraa neighbourhood, a majority Alawite area, the religious sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

“A bomb exploded near a Red Cross centre in the Zahraa neighbourhood,” a breaking news alert said.

“Four civilians were killed and others wounded, some of them seriously,” it added.

The neighbourhood has frequently been targeted in blasts during Syria’s six-year conflict.

In September, four people were killed in an explosion at the entrance to Zahraa that was claimed by the Islamic State group.

The hardline militant group also claimed a double bomb attack in the neighbourhood in February that killed 57 people.

Syria’s government controls all but one neighbourhood in Homs city, as well as much of the surrounding province.

More than 310,000 people have died since Syria’s conflict broke out in 2011.

Shots fired as Aleppo evacuations/deportations ‘halted’ by pro-regime militias

Evacuation of civilians and rebel fighters from east Aleppo has been suspended amid accusations rebels broke terms of the evacuation deal.

A correspondent for The New Arab said a shooting at Ramoussa, a government-held neighbourhood which evacuees had been passing through, had halted the eighth batch of evacuations.

Pro-regime fighters reportedly blocked the Ramoussa crossing, demanding the humanitarian situation in the two towns of Fuaa and Kefraya in Idlib province, which are besieged by opposition forces, is addressed first.

Farouq Abu Bakr, a negotiator for the opposition, confirmed to The New Arab that evacuation operations had been stopped to “ensure the safety of civilians”.

But the causes of the suspension were made less clear when state-run Syrian TV station reported that rebels had breached an agreement with the government “by trying to take prisoners with them during the evacuation”.

“The evacuation operation has been suspended because the militants failed to respect the conditions of the agreement,” a security source told AFP.

The cease-fire deal, brokered by Damascus ally Moscow and rebel backers Turkey, broke down on Wednesday as fighting resumed and Iran introduced a new demand for the evacuation of the two Shia-majority villages in Idlib.

Thousands were expected to evacuate the villages, Fuaa and Kefraya, which have long been besieged by insurgents in the mostly rebel-held province. It was unclear why the evacuations had not yet begun, but a convoy set off to evacuate the villages on Thursday, Syrian state media said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been told to leave Aleppo.

Robert Mardini, regional head of the ICRC confirmed that “regretfully, the operation was put on hold”.

Thousands of civilians and rebels began to leave the last rebel-held parts of the city aboard buses and ambulances on Thursday under an evacuation deal that will allow the Syrian regime to take full control of Aleppo after years of fighting.

Some 50,000 remain trapped, according to UN envoy Staffan de Mistura.