Tuesday 25 July 2017

Four killed as suicide blast targets Syrian city of Homs

Syrian security forces and firefighters gather at the scene of an explosion in the central city of Homs (Sana/AP)
Syrian security forces and firefighters gather at the scene of an explosion in the central city of Homs (Sana/AP)

An explosion in the central Syrian city of Homs has killed at least four people and wounded more than two dozen while government forces "destroyed" a truck bomb near Damascus airport, state media reported.

No group immediately claimed the explosions.

Homs police commander Lieutenant General Khaled Hilal told state TV that two suicide attackers detonated their explosives-laden car as they were being surrounded by troops.

Syrian state TV said 30 people were wounded in the explosion.

The blast in Homs came two days after opposition fighters left al-Waer, the city's last rebel-held neighbourhood, bringing the entire city back under government control for the first time in more than five years.

Most major Syrian cities have reverted to government control. Syria's civil war, now in its seventh year, has left about 400,000 people dead and millions displaced from their homes.

Lt Gen Hilal said the Homs attack was a "new crime in response to the victories of the Syrian Arab army". State TV aired footage from the area showing charred cars and a street full of debris as paramedics in red uniforms searched for casualties.

The TV also reported that Syrian forces hit a pick-up truck rigged with explosives on the road leading to Damascus International Airport. It said the explosion killed two "terrorists".

Also near Damascus, the International Committee of the Red Cross said a convoy of 42 trucks carrying food and medical supplies had entered the eastern, opposition-held suburb of Jairoud.

The ICRC said the supplies are for 36,000 people and that the delivery was carried out in co-ordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations.

Tens of thousands of people in Syria still live in areas besieged by rival groups.

AP

Press Association

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