Suicide bomber strikes near one of holiest Syrian shrines
BEIRUT: At least 10 civilians and three rebels were killed yesterday in violence across Syria, while car bombs exploded in Damascus and the north-west city of Idlib, monitors reported.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed vehicle in a suburb of the capital, wounding 14 people and damaging one of Shia Islam’s holiest shrines, state media and witnesses reported.
The state news agency SANA said the vehicle exploded in a garage 50m from the Sayyida Zeinab shrine. There was “substantial damage in the area of the blast”, and “the terrorist who carried out the operation was killed”.
The car bomb in Idlib targeted a military checkpoint, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that a number of soldiers were killed or wounded in the blast.
Five civilians were killed during clashes between regime troops and rebels in the central city of Homs, it said, while also reporting renewed regime shelling of Rastan in the province of the same name and of Daraa in southern Syria.
Two opposition fighters, including Ahmed Bahbouh, head of the rebel military office in Rastan, were killed at the entrances of rebel-held Rastan, which the regime has been trying to overrun for months. Another dissident was killed in Homs province.
In the city of Daraa, five people were killed before dawn in the neighbourhood of Tareek al-Sad, which was heavily shelled by regime troops, according to the UK-based Observatory.
“Government forces have surrounded the neighbourhood of Tareek al-Sad in preparation to storm the area,” it said.
More than 14 400 people have been killed in the 15-month revolt in Syria, the majority of them civilians, the watchdog said. – Sapa-AFP