Isis kills 24 in bomb attack on Syrian government-controlled Homs

Attacks come as government forces make inroads on Islamic State strongholds

 Syrian policemen and citizens at  the site of two terrorist bomb attacks at a security checkpoint in the residential neighborhood of Zahra, Homs. Photograph: SANA/EPA

Syrian policemen and citizens at the site of two terrorist bomb attacks at a security checkpoint in the residential neighborhood of Zahra, Homs. Photograph: SANA/EPA

 

Islamic State have claimed a bomb attack in the Syrian government-controlled city of Homs that killed at least 24 people yesterday, the city’s governor said.

Talal Barazi said the first of two explosions came from a car bomb targeting a security checkpoint.

A suicide bomber then detonated an explosive belt.Supported by four months of Russian air strikes, the Syrian government has intensified attacks on insurgents across the country, including Islamic State, also known as Isis, which controls wide areas of central and eastern Syria.

The Syrian army and allied forces have been battling Isis to the east and southeast of Homs. They recently took back several villages southeast of the city.

North of Homs in Aleppo province, the Syrian army and allied forces have taken a number of Isis-held villages, which lie to the south of the Isis-held town of al-Bab – an important stronghold for the group.Fighting continues on the outskirts of Ain Hanash, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

Following the double bombings in Homs, 17 people were in hospital, one of them in critical condition, Barazi said.

Syrian state TV earlier reported that 22 people had died and more than 100 people had been injured.

Observatory monitors put the death toll at 29 and said those killed in the explosions, which took place in a mostly Alawite district, included 15 members of government forces and pro-government militiamen. President Bashar al-Assad is a member of the minority Alawite sect.

Islamic StateIsis said in a statement that its attack had killed at least 30 people. – (Reuters)