Nusra Front claims deadly blast in Syria’s Hama
A car bomb hit a government-controlled village in Hama province, killing at least 34 and wounding more than 50 other people
A car bomb explosion claimed by al-Qaeda affiliated rebels killed at least 34 and wounded more than 50 other people on Friday in a government-controlled village in the central Syrian province of Hama, state news agency SANA reported.
SANA said the explosion went off in Horrah village in the countryside near the central city of Hama, blaming the attack on rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
The Islamist al-Nusra Front, Agence France-Presse reported.
It said on Twitter that a radio-controlled bomb had targeted a “gathering of Assad militia.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 37 people were killed, including civilians as well as security personnel, and more than 40 wounded.
On Thursday, a car bomb exploded in the city of Homs, to the south of Hama, killing at least six people in a neighborhood populated by Alawites, an offshoot Shiite sect to which Assad belongs.
No one claimed responsibility for what was the second attack in Homs – Syria’s third largest city - in less than a week, but state television blamed it on rebels.
The Syrian conflict started in March 2011 with Arab Spring inspired protests against Assad’s rule, and evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones and Islamic extremists.
Foreign fighters and Syrian rebels who have taken up hardline al-Qaeda-style ideologies have played an increasingly powerful role among fighters, dampening the West’s support for the rebellion to overthrow Assad.
Many militant groups frequently carry out bombings in government-controlled areas, including suicide operations, some of which have targeted military installations.
(With AFP and Associated Press)