Suicide bomber kills 37 civilians in Syria's Hama: State news

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A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 20, 2013 shows Syrians on the site of a suicide bombing hit the government-held city of Hama in central Syria. (Photo: AFP / SANA)

Published Sunday, October 20, 2013

Updated at 6:00 pm: A suicide bomber driving a truck packed with 1.5 tons of explosives killed at least 37 civilians and wounded dozens in the Syrian city of Hama on Sunday, state media reported.

The man blew himself up inside the vehicle on a busy road on the outskirts of the city in central Syria, the SANA news agency said.

Pictures on Syria TV showed firemen trying to put out huge fires as black smoke rose from charred trucks and cars.

"The terrorist bombing took place amid heavy traffic when a truck filled with gas cylinders for domestic use was passing," SANA said.

The bombing also caused "heavy material losses to more than 32 cars and residential and trade buildings in the area."

Rebels also used a car bomb a day earlier to attack a checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus. Heavy clashes erupted after the blast and continued on Sunday.

Rebels said they seized the first checkpoint and were now fighting to capture a second one down the road. The checkpoints, to the southeast of the capital, sit between the rebel-held suburb of Mleiha and the government-held suburb of Jaramana.

"These checkpoints are the fortress between us and the next air force defense site," Nidal, a rebel told Reuters over Skype. "If we can destroy it we can liberate the base."

(Reuters, SANA)


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