Car Bombs Kill 25 in Syria's Homs
Two car bombs killed at least 25 people, including women and children, in a government-held neighborhood of Syria’s central city of Homs on Wednesday, AFP reported, citing the state news agency SANA.
Another 100 people were wounded in Karam al-Luz, in attacks SANA blamed on "terrorists," the government's term for the rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad.
"Twenty-five people fell as martyrs, including women and children, and more than 107 others were wounded after the explosion of the two car bombs" a half-hour apart, SANA said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombings killed 21 people in a neighborhood made up mostly of Alawites, the Shiite Muslim offshoot sect to which the Assad family belongs.
Videos posted online by activists showed destroyed shop fronts and people panicking and running in all directions as rescuers struggled to extinguish a fire, according to AFP.
Homs was an epicenter of the revolt in Syria but is now almost entirely in regime hands, with small pockets of rebels holding out in besieged areas in and around the devastated Old City.
Some 1,400 civilians were able to leave the area this year under UN supervision, but an estimated 1,500 people remain until the army siege.
Syria's uprising began as a series of peaceful protests against the Assad family's four-decade rule but escalated into a full-scale insurgency after the regime launched a devastating crackdown on dissent.
Last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the death toll in the three-year-old Syrian civil war had topped 150,000.
The group said it had documented the deaths of 150,344 people, 51,212 of them civilians, including nearly 7,985 children.
Assad has remained unfazed about the ongoing civil war in his country and told a former Russian prime minister this week that much of the fighting in the war will be over by the end of the year.