Sat, May 03, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Suicide bombers kill 18 in Syria

AFP, DAMASCUS and BEIRUT

Residents gather at the site of reported air strikes by government forces in the Halak neighborhood of northeastern Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Suicide bombers blew up two vehicles in the central Syrian province of Hama yesterday, killing at least 18 people, including 11 children, state media reported.

The bombers hit the towns of Jibrin and al-Humeiri, state television and official news agency SANA said, blaming “terrorists” for the attacks.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 15 people had been killed.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the two towns targeted are majority Alawite, the religious community to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

Yesterday’s attack came after a double car bombing claimed by al-Qaeda killed at least 100 people on Tuesday in a majority-Alawite district of the central city of Homs.

The bombings come in a particularly bloody week in the Syrian conflict, which also saw 33 civilians killed in the main northern city of Aleppo on Thursday when government aircraft bombed a popular market in a rebel-held district.

Several people were also wounded in the attack on the market in the Halak neighborhood of northeastern Aleppo, the observatory said.

It also reported at least 21 people killed in clashes between the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other rebel groups, including the al-Nusra Front, in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

Rebel-held areas of Aleppo have come under massive air assault since mid-December last year as government forces try to regain full control of Syria’s second city and one-time commercial hub.

“A Syrian fighter jet fired a missile at the [Halak] neighborhood and within minutes it fired another,” Abdel Rahman said.

The Aleppo Media Center run by activists said that “two residential buildings were destroyed and several shops set ablaze.”

Activists posted a YouTube video showing an ambulance trying to make its way across rubble to the site and the facades of buildings badly damaged.

Youths are seen carrying the body of a man in a rug as others dig through rubble for victims.

The authenticity of the video could not be immediately verified.

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