Conflict & Justice

Syria: Suicide bomb kills 50, activist group says


A Syrian man holding a boy runs for cover as a second bomb explodes near the northern Syrian town of Al-Bab, 40 kilometers north-east of Aleppo on Nov. 4, 2012. An AFP correspondent reported three air strikes in close succession on Al-Bab.


Philippe Desmazes

The activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed at least 50 pro-government Syrian soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing Monday.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the regime's news organ, said of the bombing: "A suicide bomber on Monday detonated a car bomb near the Rural Development Center in al-Ziyara area in al-Ghab, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries and material damages." SANA went on to cite an anonymous "official source" who said 2 citizens were killed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, also said the blast occurred near village Ziyara village, though the group claimed it was near a "regime checkpoint."

They added, "At least 50 regular soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber from the al-Nusra front detonated a car bomb," and said the operation was in coordination with other armed rebel groups.

The observatory or the regime's statements could not be verified.

Speaking to Reuters, Rami Abdelrahman, head of the observatory, said "A fighter from the (al-Qaeda inspired) Nusra Front blew himself up ... in the Hama countryside. At least 50 were killed."

The Nusra Front is a militant Islamist group that opposes Syrian President Bashar al Assad. They have claimed responsibility for past suicide bombings.

Three hours ago the observatory posted on its Facebook page news of a targeted air strike that reportedly killed 20 rebel fighters and rebel commander:

"Idlib province: At least 20 rebel fighters were killed and a rebel commander was severely wounded by aerial bombardment on the Harem town. al-Tarma neighborhood of Harem town, that regime and pro regime forces are centralized in, is subject to bombardment by rebel fighters. 6 civilians, including a woman, were killed by aerial bombardment on the Kafranbel town, the number is likely to increase because several are severely wounded and there are corpses under the rubble."

Haaretz notes that Idlib, which borders Turkey, is under rebel control, and is targeted by government air strikes.