8 dead in car bomb at north Syria market

8 dead in car bomb at north Syria market
This photo posted on social media shows a scene of a fiery explosion during a car bomb attack in the middle of market in Azaz city in Syria's northern region of Aleppo early Sunday. (X: @FARED_ALHOR)
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Updated 31 March 2024
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8 dead in car bomb at north Syria market

8 dead in car bomb at north Syria market
  • Bomb exploded in the middle of a popular market in Azaz, in Aleppo province: SOHR
  • It said the death toll could go up since 23 others were reported injured

BEIRUT: A bomb exploded in a market in a north Syrian city held by pro-Turkish forces early Sunday, killing eight people and wounding more than 20 others, a war monitor said.

At least “eight people were killed and 23 others wounded” when “a car bomb exploded in the middle of a popular market” in Azaz, in Aleppo province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding the toll was provisional.
The Britain-based Observatory, which has a network of sources inside Syria, said the blast caused “significant damage” and sparked a fire, adding that ambulances and rescue personnel were at the scene.

A Reuters report, quoting residents and rescuers, placed the preliminary death toll at seven and the number of injured at 30. It said the blast occurred during peak late night shopping after breaking of the fast during the Muslim month of Ramadan.
“It’s timing comes with heavy congestion by shoppers,” said Yaseen Shalabi who was near the site of the explosion shopping with his family.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The Arab-populated town run by Syrian rebel groups backed by Turkiye opposed to Syrian President Bashar al Assad has been relatively quiet since it was hit by a car blast over two years ago.
Main towns in the northwestern border area have in recent years been frequently hit by bombings detonated in crowded civilian areas.
The civil defense forces said that at least thirty were wounded with some seriously injured transferred to local hospitals.

Syria’s war began after the government repressed peaceful protests in 2011 and escalated into a deadly conflict that pulled in jihadists and foreign armies.
The war has killed more than 507,000 people, displaced millions and battered the country’s infrastructure and industry.
Turkiye has launched successive military offensives in Syria, most of them targeting Kurdish militants that Ankara links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.
Turkish troops and their Syrian proxies hold swathes of the border, including several major cities and towns such as Azaz.


UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan
Updated 6 sec ago
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UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

DUBAI: The UAE has said 70 percent of the $100 million pledge it announced for UN agencies last April will go towards supporting humanitarian aid efforts in Sudan, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the funds would be directed to key UN partners, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization. The money will provide food and health support, protect women and children, and offer livelihoods and shelter in emergencies.
Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem bint Ibrahim Al-Hashemi emphasized the UAE’s commitment to humanitarian support for the Sudanese people. She highlighted ongoing efforts to provide aid in cooperation with the WFP, including operations in El-Fasher and other areas in Sudan.
Since the onset of the crisis, the UAE has launched an air bridge with Sudan and Chad, delivering 9,500 tons of food and medical supplies through 148 relief flights and a ship carrying some 1,000 tons of urgent supplies. Additionally, the UAE has supported Sudanese refugee camps in Chad and South Sudan by providing food.


Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan

Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan
Updated 23 min 50 sec ago
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Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan

Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan
  • The fire affected over 320,000 square meters of trees and dry grass

DUBAI:  Civil Defense teams on Monday extinguished a fire that spread from the Zamal area in the Koura District to the Anaba area in the Northern Mazar District.

Koura District Superintendent Bassem Al-Khalayleh informed the Jordan News Agency that the fire affected over 320 dunams (320,000 square meters) of trees and dry grass. He praised the quick response of the Civil Defense, which contained and extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading to neighboring areas.

Al-Khalayleh urged citizens to clean the areas surrounding their homes, remove waste and dead vegetation that pose safety risks, ensure the presence and readiness of fire extinguishers, and educate individuals about fire hazards. He emphasized the dangers of throwing cigarette butts in forests, leaving flammable waste unattended, lighting fires in grassy areas, and using fireworks near forests or residential areas.

Jordan is currently experiencing a severe heatwave, with temperatures soaring to record highs of 45 degrees Celsius in several regions.

The Jordan Meteorological Department reported that the heatwave is expected to persist over the coming days, particularly impacting the desert areas, Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, and Aqaba. Residents are advised to stay indoors during peak sunlight hours, stay hydrated, and avoid strenuous outdoor activities.


Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants

Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants
Updated 18 June 2024
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Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants

Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants
  • At least 18 Tunisians were rescued on June 15 and 16 with the remainder being from sub-Saharan countries

DUBAI: Security units in Tunisia thwarted 59 attempts to illegally cross its sea borders and rescued 1,806 individuals, state news agency Tunis Afrique Press reported on Monday.

At least 18 Tunisians were rescued on June 15 and 16 with the remainder being from sub-Saharan countries, the Directorate General of the National Guard announced in a statement.

Two bodies were also recovered, and 24 wanted individuals, including smugglers and middlemen, were detained. In addition, the authorities seized boats and outboard motors used in illegal migration operations.


Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials

Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials
Updated 18 June 2024
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Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials

Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials
  • The minister called on the international community, the UN, and its special envoy to Yemen to condemn this attack.

DUBAI: Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Muammar Al-Eryani strongly condemned the Houthi militia on Monday for targeting government officials in Taiz, state news agency SABA reported. 

The attack targeted Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Al-Sabri, undersecretary of Taiz Governorate for defense and security affairs; Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al-Majidi, acting commander of the Taiz Axis; Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Mahfadi, commander of Brigade 22 Mika; Samir Yahya Abdul-Ilah, director-general of the Cairo Directorate; and several other civilian, security, and military leaders. They were on a visit to National Army officers stationed at the old airport camp northwest of Taiz.

Al-Eryani said that the attack occurred less than 500 meters from the recently reopened Al-Kamp-Republican Palace road, after a decade-long siege imposed by the Houthi militia on the governorate.

The attack highlights the Houthi militia’s lack of commitment to peace and their intent to undermine any efforts to alleviate the suffering of citizens, the minister said. 

Al-Eryani called on the international community, the UN, and its special envoy to Yemen to condemn this attack. He urged for the militia to be classified as a terrorist organization, for its financial, political, and media resources to be cut off, and for measures to be taken to support the government in establishing control and achieving security throughout Yemeni territory.


US imposes new sanctions on Houthis

US imposes new sanctions on Houthis
Updated 18 June 2024
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US imposes new sanctions on Houthis

US imposes new sanctions on Houthis
  • Three individuals and six entities that facilitated the purchase of weapons for the Houthis have been sanctioned

DUBAI: New sanctions on the Iranian-supported Houthi militia have been imposed by the US, Yemen News Agency (SABA) reported.

“We have sanctioned three individuals and six entities that facilitated the purchase of weapons for the Houthis. Additionally, we have designated one ship owned by one of the sanctioned entities as prohibited property,” said US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Miller emphasized Washington’s commitment to using “the tools available to obstruct the flow of military materials to Yemen, which enables the Houthis to launch these terrorist attacks.”

He also noted that “Houthi attacks against unarmed commercial ships continue to obstruct navigation in a vital waterway.”