20 Jun 2014

Scores killed and wounded in Syria car bomb blast

A car bomb in Syria’s western Hama province kills 34 and wounds more than 50, Syria’s state news agency SANA reports.

The state agency said the attack was a “terrorist” bombing, referring to anti-government rebels fighting forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring group, reported that 37 people had been killed in the blast, and more than 40 were wounded in the blast which took place in the village of Hurra.

Situated in the province of Hama, in the east of the country, the village of Hurra is controlled by the Syrian government.

It was not immediately clear if the attack was in any way related to the militant group Isis, which is active in Syria and has seized vast tracts of territory across the border in Iraq in recent weeks.

Syria’s three-year-old conflict began as peaceful protests against the government but has turned into civil war, killing at least 100,000 people according to United Nations estimates.

Rebels have been joined by hardline Islamists, some of them linked to al-Qaeda, who have become increasingly powerful among opposition forces.

Read more: Spoils of war – extremists on the rise in Iraq and Syria

Video: Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller answers the key questions on Isis, the extremist Sunni militant group which is leading insurgents in Iraq – but which has also been fighting in Syria.