Arab League Asks Hamas to Help Halt Syria Violence

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby says Hamas must work with 'integrity, transparency and credibility' to bring end to violence, during meeting with Hamas head Khaled Meshaal in Cairo.

The head of the Arab League said on Friday he had asked the Damascus-based leader of the Palestinian movement Hamas to ask the Syrian government to work to halt violence in the country.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby was speaking alongside Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal after a meeting in Cairo.

Mashal Arab League - Reuters - January 2012

"I gave him a message today to the Syrian authorities that it is necessary to work with integrity, transparency and credibility to halt the violence that is happening in Syria," he said.

The report comes hours after an explosion by terrorists targeted the central Maidan district of Damascus on Friday, Syrian state television said. According to the station, the attack targeted a police bus in central Damascus, causing several deaths.

Initial reports claim a suicide bomber detonated himself in the city's al-Midian quarter near the Syrian intelligence headquarters, with Syria's official news agency SANA reoprting that 15 people were killed in the attack and another 46 wounded.

The report came only two weeks after two booby-trapped cars blew up at Syrian security sites in Damascus, with 44 killed and dozens wounded.