Firsthand view of deadly car bombing in Syria

(CBS News) DAMASCUS - In Syria's civil war, at least 34 people were killed Wednesday when two car bombs ripped through a suburb of Damascus. The Assad dictatorship has been trying to crush a rebellion that broke out more than a year-and-a half ago.

Wednesday's bombing spilled the blood of neighbors and friends.

Jaramana is a tight-knit community of Christians and Druze religious minority groups, who are traditional supporters of President Bashar al-Assad.

After the huge explosions, people immediately pitched in to repair damage to shops and homes, and to comfort the families of the victims.

Deadly car bombing in Syrian capital suburb
A rare and dangerous look into battle-ravaged Syria

One woman's 21-year-old son -- a medical student -- went to investigate when the first bomb blew up, and was killed minutes later by the second.

Syrians stand near a burning truck that was destroyed by two car bombs in the Jaramana suburb of Damascus, Syria, Nov. 28, 2012, in this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA.
Syrians stand near a burning truck that was destroyed by two car bombs in the Jaramana suburb of Damascus, Syria, Nov. 28, 2012, in this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA.
AP Photo/SANA

Outside, local businessman Walid helped carry the wounded to safety. "It's blood of all the people, it's blood," he said when pointed out what was on his jacket.

But he can't -- or won't -- say who he thinks is responsible. "I don't know, I don't know," he replied when asked who did it.

It's a loaded question in Syria, where people of many faiths -- Christian and Muslim -- have generally gotten along. But the war has put that at risk. Attacks like these bombings could ignite vicious rounds of revenge and reprisals.

Ali Haydar -- whose own son was killed in May -- is Syria's minister for national reconciliation. There have been hundreds of incidents, he admitted, designed to spark religious conflict. But so far it's been limited. Most people want the violence to stop, so they can resume their normal lives.

But that prospect looks increasingly remote.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."

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