At least 50 Assad loyalists die in suicide attack, says opposition
An Islamist suicide car bomber has killed at least 50 Syrian security men in Hama province, an opposition group has said.
The attack would constitute one of the bloodiest single attacks on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the 20-month-old uprising.
Another day of relentless violence in Syria coincided with more unity talks in Qatar among opposition factions.
Syrian state media reported that a “terrorist” suicide bomber had targeted a rural development centre in Sahl al-Ghab in Hama province, putting the death toll at two. Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the centre was used by pro-Assad loyalists as one of their biggest local bases.
“A fighter from the Nusra Front drove his car to the centre and then blew himself up,” he said. “A series of explosions followed. At least 50 were killed.” The Nusra Front is an al-Qaeda-inspired group.
About 32,000 people have been killed since the anti-Assad revolt began in March 2011.
In Damascus, a car bomb exploded in the mostly Alawite district of Mezzeh 86, killing 11 and wounding dozens, including children, state media and the Syrian Observatory said.
Opposition activists said at least 10 people were killed when warplanes, tanks and artillery battered rebel-held parts of southern Damascus.
In Qatar, divided Syrian opposition groups were meeting to try to forge a cohesive leadership that would make common cause with rebel factions fighting on the ground, in an effort to gain wider global recognition and arms supplies.
The Syrian National Council, the largest overseas-based opposition group, was set to expand its membership before talks with other anti-Assad factions in Doha. – (Reuters)