Death toll of twin Homs school blasts rises to 32, mostly children

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A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrian security forces inspecting the scene of a car bomb explosion outside the Akrameh al-Makhzumi school in the central city of Homs on October 1, 2014. (AFP - SANA)

Published Thursday, October 2, 2014

The death toll of the twin car bombs in the central Syrian city of Homs hits 32, most of them children, state news agency SANA reported Thursday.

The attacks injured 115 civilians, most of them children, and many are still in a critical condition.

A source told SANA that a car bomb was first detonated in front of the New Ikrima School, and few minutes later a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of Ikrima al-Makhzoumi School. The attacks took place when students were leaving school to ensure maximum casualties.

According to SANA, the car bomb was made up of three gas cylinders, each packed with 7 kg of C4 explosives, and concealed in a Mazda.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi told SANA that "these terrorist acts, in which terrorists have taken their hatred out on our schoolchildren, are meant to discourage Syria’s children from pursuing knowledge."

"The terrorist groups have been taken aghast by the Syrian army’s military successes, which accounts for their resort to these cowardly acts," the PM added.

Halqi assured that these terrorist acts “will make us even stronger and more determined to restore security and stability all over Syria. ”

In the same context, Regional leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Part strongly condemned the twin blasts that targeted the students.

In a statement, the Party’s leadership said that the attacks reveal again "the brutality of the terrorists and their hatred against the Syrian citizens who achieved a lot of victories over terrorism."

According to SANA, Homs governor Talal al-Barazi said targeting safe children in their schools is an "act of cowardice" and a desperate attempt to "undermine the steadfastness of Syria and reverse the state of security and stability in Homs province."

Director of Homs Health Directorate Dr. Hassan al-Jundi said the health sector is on high alert to take all necessary measures under these extraordinary circumstances.

The twin terrorist bombings have taken the lives of scores, most of them schoolchildren, he added, indicating that the injuries range in severity from moderate to severe.

The Akrameh district has been targeted more than once before, including on June 19, when at least six people were killed in a car bomb attack.



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