BEIRUT

Middle East

Car bomb attack outside Syria mosque kills dozens: activists

Rebel fighter aims a rocket launcher at pro-regime fighters, during clashes in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 14, 2014. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMAD MERANGEI

BEIRUT: A car bomb attack outside a mosque in southern Syria killed dozens Friday and rebels detonated mines under a hotel used by the army in the north killing five, activists said.

At least 32 people, including a child and 10 rebel fighters, were killed when the car blew up in front of the mosque in the rebel-held village of Yaduda in the southern Daraa province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Activists accused regime forces of responsibility for the attack, said the Britain-based monitor, adding that it expected the death toll to rise because many people were also wounded in the explosion.

Meanwhile at least five soldiers were killed when Islamist rebels detonated mines under the Carlton hotel used by the in the northern city of Aleppo, said the Observatory.

It said the rebels had dug tunnels under and around the Carlton and on Friday morning they set off mines to detonate them.

"At least five troops were killed and 18 others wounded in the attack, which also damaged parts of the hotel," said the Observatory.

Fierce battles broke out after the attack, killing an unknown number of rebels, it added.

Insurgents fighting to topple President Bashar Assad's regime have used this tactic before, both in Aleppo, Syria's onetime commercial capital, and in Damascus province.

On another front, fresh fighting broke out between rebels and the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

Though rebels once welcomed ISIS in the fight against Assad, horrific abuses in areas under their domination have turned much of the opposition against them.

On Friday, the rebels drove out ISIS from their positions in five Aleppo provincial towns, including Hreitan, said the Observatory.

But just before their withdrawal from Hreitan, ISIS's fighters executed 17 civilian relatives of rival Islamist rebel battalions.

In Azaz, also in Aleppo province, clashes raged between rebels and ISIS, as the jihadists "beheaded at least four" rival opposition fighters, said the group.

Islamist and mainstream rebels opened a front against ISIS on January 3. The jihadists were expelled from the oil-rich eastern province of Deir al-Zor last week.

More than 136,000 people have been killed in Syria's brutal war since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes.

 

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Summary

A car bomb attack outside a mosque in southern Syria killed dozens Friday and rebels detonated mines under a hotel used by the army in the north killing five, activists said.

At least 32 people, including a child and 10 rebel fighters, were killed when the car blew up in front of the mosque in the rebel-held village of Yaduda in the southern Daraa province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

At least five soldiers were killed when Islamist rebels detonated mines under the Carlton hotel used by the in the northern city of Aleppo, said the Observatory.

Fierce battles broke out after the attack, killing an unknown number of rebels, it added.


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