Twin car bombs kill 25 in Syria's Homs: state media

Twin car bombs kill 25 in Syria's Homs: state media
Wed Apr 9, 2014 22:49:40

Two car bombs have killed at least 25 people, including women and children, in a government-held neighborhood of Syria's central city of Homs, state news agency SANA reports.

Another 100 people were wounded in Karam al-Luz, in attacks SANA blamed on foreign-backed militants.

"Twenty-five people fell as martyrs, including women and children, and more than 107 others were wounded after the explosion of the two car bombs" a half-hour apart, SANA said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombings killed 21 people in a mostly Alawite neighborhood.

Videos posted online by activists showed destroyed shop fronts and people panicking and running in all directions as rescuers struggled to extinguish a fire.

More than 150,000 people have been killed since the revolt began in March 2011 and nine million have been driven from their homes, including 2.6 million international refugees.

Homs was an epicenter of the revolt but is now almost entirely in government hands, with small pockets of rebels holding out in besieged areas in and around the devastated Old City.

Earlier Wednesday, troops fighting in the Qalamoun region seized the town of Rankus, tightening their grip on the strategic region along the Lebanese border.

"Units of the Syrian army have now accomplished their operation in the Rankus area and restored security and stability after eliminating a large number of terrorists," state media said.

The Britain-based Observatory had earlier confirmed that "the army entered the area and is engaged in fierce fighting and heavy shelling."

The group, with a network of sources inside Syria, said 28 militants had been killed in Qalamoun area as well as in Eastern Ghouta, elsewhere in Damascus province, in fighting between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Troops backed by pro-government militiamen and Lebanon's Hezbollah have captured most of Qalamoun, through which a key highway runs between Damascus and Homs.

Last month, the government dealt a major blow to the opposition by seizing its last key bastion in the region, the town of Yabrud.

The militants still control a few smaller villages in Qalamoun, but have seen their supply lines across the border with Lebanon largely severed.

HH/HH

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