Car bombing rocks Syria’s Homs, casualties feared

Baku: An explosive-laden vehicle went off in a pro-government district of Syria’s central province of Homs on Wednesday afternoon, leaving an unknown number of casualties, the state news agency SANA reported, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The bomb tore through the entrance of Wadi al-Zahab district near a police residential compound in Homs, the report said, spelling no further details.

The same district has been repeatedly targeted by rebels’ shelling or similar blasts as it’s largely inhabited by the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to whom the ruling elite in Syria belongs. Earlier on Sunday, seven people were killed and many others injured during a car explosion that targeted the al-Arman district, another pro-government district of Homs.

Wednesday’s blast was the latest in a series of violent acts that rocked the conflict-stricken country in the third day of Muslim Eid al-Fitr feast holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

A day earlier, activists said that 13 government troops were killed when the rebels detonated two tunnels under the old quarter of the northern city of Aleppo. Blowing tunnels have emerged as a new rebel tactic to undermine the Syrian authority’s rule in the government-controlled areas of Aleppo.

Also Tuesday, the rebels reportedly advanced toward a military airbase in the country’s central province of Hama.

In the capital Damascus, clashes near the eastern Ghouta countryside continued on Wednesday with government troops shelling rebels’ positions in the Jobar and Mlaiha areas, according to activist groups.

Aside from the ongoing violence, electricity completely went out on Tuesday night in the capital and other southern governorates of Syria as a result of damage to a key power line. Power returned at dawn on Wednesday but is still intermittent.

Syria has been gripped by deadly conflict since March 2011. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.