Skip to main content

Attack at Syria funeral: 'Children's bodies were maimed and burnt,' witness says

By Yousuf Basil and Holly Yan, CNN
October 24, 2012 -- Updated 0905 GMT (1705 HKT)
Fighting continued across Syria Tuesday (October 23, 2012), including in the northern city of Aleppo pictured.
Fighting continued across Syria Tuesday (October 23, 2012), including in the northern city of Aleppo pictured.
  • 13 people are killed in an explosion at a funeral of an opposition activist
  • "Look at this, Assad! ... Look at this, you murderer!" one man screams
  • The blast takes place in the Damascus suburbs, which has seen months of fighting
  • International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is trying to broker a cease-fire by Friday

(CNN) -- It's a horror show that has played out across Syria for 19 months. Those grieving the dead are themselves targeted by gunfire or deadly blasts.

That cycle of death played out again Tuesday when mourners gathered to grieve a man who dared speak out against the Syrian government.

A car bomb silenced them.

"Children's bodies were maimed and burnt. I saw pieces of human flesh and blood on the street," witness Ahmed Al-Muadami said.

Video reportedly shows bakery attack
Siniora: Syria continues intimidation
Annan: 'I cry everyday for the Syrians'

This day, mourners came to honor one of 14 men who died after his arrest by Air Force Intelligence -- a much feared security apparatus that dissidents accuse of hunting down anti-government activists.

Word spread quickly Tuesday that a Damascus hospital had a collection of unidentified bodies.

The families of the 14 men rushed to the scene -- only to discover the bodies of their loved ones bore signs of torture.

The outrage boiled over in the Damascus suburb of Muadamiyet al-Sham, where a funeral procession for one of the men morphed into a protest against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Then came the explosion near the Al-Zaitoona mosque, which is a popular gathering site for anti-government protests.

"It was a car bomb parked next to the mosque where the people were gathered. The explosion killed at least 13 people and wounded over a hundred," Al-Muadami said.

"One child was extremely disfigured ... we couldn't identify him."

Amateur videos reportedly from the scene show a grisly aftermath.

One man carried the lifeless body of a child, his face charred black and gray.

"Look at this, Assad!" the man screamed. "Is this your gift to us for the Eid? Look at this, you murderer!"

The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha begins Friday.

CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the videos or reports of violence, as the Syrian government has restricted access to international journalists.

The Damascus suburbs have seen fierce fighting for months. Opposition activists say the government has committed massacres, while the government says it is fighting armed terrorists.

International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is trying to broker a cease-fire by Friday.

But the odds seem daunting.

On Tuesday alone, at least 100 people were killed in Damascus and its suburbs; 50 were from Muadamiyet al-Sham, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

The activist network said residents in the town called for blood donors after the explosion.

Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1141 GMT (1941 HKT)
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT)
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 2025 GMT (0425 HKT)
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
June 2, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT)
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
May 31, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.