At least 40 killed in Syrian weapons depot blast, NGO says

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At least 40 people were killed and 120 wounded in an arms depot blast Thursday in a government-held area of Homs in central Syria, a monitoring group said.

Initially, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 22 were killed in the explosion.

“At least 22 people, including civilians, were killed and dozens wounded, some seriously, when an ammunitions depot blew up in the pro-regime Wadi al-Zahab district after rocket fire, most probably by rebels,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers its information from medics and activists on the ground.

It added that the casualities included soldiers as well as civilians and that some were in critical condition.

The NGO said the depot was operated by pro-regime militias. According to the Associated Press, the blast caused widespread destruction in the area.

The explosion coincided with a rare visit by President Bashar al-Assad to a former rebel bastion near Damascus to mark the country’s Army Day.

Al least 100,000 people have been killed since the March 2011 uprising against the Assad regime.

(With AFP, AP, Reuters)

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