Archbishop Mario Zenari
The residence of the Papal Nuncio in Damascus was shaken on Thursday, as bombs exploded at the nearby Baath headquarters, ministry of Finance, ministry of Education and offices of the Central Bank.
The Papal Nuncio to Syria Archbishop Mario Zenari said: "It is a massacre; bodies charred and torn to pieces, strips of human flesh, fire fighters struggling to put out the flames."
He said: "We continue to walk on the dead. At this point, wherever you go in Damascus, you come to places where innocent blood has been shed: civilians, women and children. The number of 70,000 war victims is even more appalling when we think how these people die. They die not in their beds, not with euthanasia. Their bodies are torn apart and it is difficult even to collect enough fragments for a funeral".
Archbishop Zenari said the international community continues to "play the part of Pontius Pilate", while the only way to stop the spiral of death and destruction is to "force the sides to find a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflict".
Nuncio Zenari expressed surprise at rumours on blogs claiming that the Syrian military were planning to attack him in his car, in retaliation for his recent statements about the conflict. He said: "I have no idea how much credibility is due to these rumours. Usually people planning an attack would not first leak the intent to the press. My appeals are prompted by what I see, the suffering the conflict inflicts on the Syrian people. Suffering which is prolonged by the indifference of the greater part of the international community ".
Archbishop Zenari said he did not want to cause alarm and said the Christian community was suffering alongside the rest of the population.