Skip to main content

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

By Yousuf Basil and Holly Yan, CNN
updated 5:05 AM EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
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
updated 10:48 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
As a 10-year-old, this boy first hit the headlines in 1982 when he saved his cat from a fire. This year, he was reported to be a suicide bomber.
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Aqsa Mahmood,19, would listen to Coldplay and read Harry Potter books. Then this Glasgow girl became an ISIS bride.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
The little boy looks barely old enough to walk, let alone understand the dark world he's now inhabiting.
updated 12:22 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
ISIS has released video of the aftermath of a mass execution. Another video shows alleged captured Peshmerga soldiers.
updated 5:33 AM EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
The number of people who have fled Syria and registered as refugees amid the country's civil war will surpass 3 million Friday.
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, grew up in the Minneapolis area, but died more than 6,000 miles away in Syria, fighting for ISIS.
updated 4:54 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
If the United States is serious about thoroughly defeating ISIS, it must, somehow, go through Syria.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
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.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
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.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
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.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
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.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 12:16 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
More than 100,000 people reportedly have been killed in Syria since a popular uprising in 2011 spiraled into a civil war.