Deadly car bomb attack rocks Syria's Homs

At least 16 people killed in blast claimed by ISIL, days after Syrian government and rebels agree to district truce.

    The deadly blast occurred near the Al-Ahli hospital in Homs' Al-Zahraa neighbourhood [EPA]
    The deadly blast occurred near the Al-Ahli hospital in Homs' Al-Zahraa neighbourhood [EPA]

    At least 16 people were killed and dozens wounded on Saturday in the central Syrian city of Homs after a car bomb exploded near a hospital.

    In a statement posted online, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it consisted of a car bombing and a suicide bomber blowing himself up.

    Provincial governor Talal Barazi said the blast occured near the Al-Ahli hospital in the government-held Al-Zahraa neighbourhood.

    Another 54 people were wounded, some seriously, and being treated at hospitals throughout Homs.

    "The explosion was terrifying. Body parts were on the ground... It was one of the biggest explosions to hit Homs," a 28-year-old woman working in a neighbourhood coffee shop told the AFP news agency.

    "The blast left a huge crater, and people were running in every direction in fear of more explosions," she added.

    Truce deal

    The attack comes three days after hundreds of rebel fighters and their families left Homs' last rebel-held neighbourhood, as part of a local truce.

    Read more: 'Deal reached' on truce in Homs district

    The deal - overseen by the United Nations - will see the district of al-Waer turned over to government forces in exchange for humanitarian aid for besieged residents.

    More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war since it erupted in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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