Car bomb in Syria's Hama province kills
34: state news
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[June 20, 2014]
BEIRUT (Reuters) - A car bomb in
Syria's western Hama province killed 34 and wounded more than 50,
Syria's state news agency SANA said on Friday, blaming the attack on
rebels fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
It was not immediately clear if the attack was in any way related
to the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which
is very active in Syria and has seized vast tracts of territory
across the border in Iraq.
Nusra Front, which is linked to al Qaeda and has been fighting rival
group ISIL, is thought to have been behind several bomb attacks in
Hama in recent months.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring
group, said 38 were killed and more than 40 wounded in the blast
which took place in Hurra, an Alawite village close to the city of
Hama. Assad is from Syria's Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite
It said a suicide bomber in a truck had detonated himself, killing
mainly civilians, including women and children.
It said there were overnight clashes between government forces and
Islamist fighters in the province, as well as bombings by the Syrian
SANA described the car bomb as a "terrorist" attack, wording it uses
to refer to rebel fighters.
The agency said the Syrian army had also carried out a campaign to
eliminate "terrorists" in a number of villages in the Homs province
to the south of Hama.
Syria's conflict began in March 2011 as peaceful protests but has
turned into civil war, killing at least 160,000 people.
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Rebels have been joined by hardline Islamists, some of them linked
to al Qaeda, who have become increasingly powerful among opposition
In the northern city of Aleppo, Syrian air forces dropped two barrel
bombs on the outskirts of the Ashrafiyeh neighbourhood, the
Observatory said, adding that there were no details on casualties.
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Alison Williams)
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