In Syria, bomb blast and peace-talk progress

The Associated Press /


A truck bomb attack Sunday in Hama, Syria, killed at least 30 people when a suicide bomber detonated the vehicle at a government checkpoint, according to both activists and state media.

Also on Sunday, following weeks of diplomacy, the chief of the Arab League announced a key international conference aimed at ending Syria’s civil war will be held in Geneva in late November.

League chief Nabil Elaraby made the announcement at a news conference at the pan-Arab organization’s headquarters in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, after talks with the Arab League-U.N. envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.

The proposed conference on Nov. 23 and 24 will attempt to get Syria’s rival sides to agree on a transitional government in that country based on a plan adopted in Geneva in June 2012.

Syria’s conflict, now into its third year, has left over 100,000 dead. It has devastated the economy and the country’s delicate social fabric. It has caused 5 million Syrians to flee their homes to other places within the country, and driven another 2 million abroad.