Children react after losing their mother in what activists said where explosive barrels thrown by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Al-Andhirat neighbourhood of Aleppo February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Hosam Katan
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Two suicide bombers killed a senior al-Qaida operative on Sunday, blowing themselves up inside the militant leader's compound in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, rebels and activists said.Al-Suri had been critical of the group, blaming it for the internecine conflict among rebels that has killed thousands of people across northern Syria since it began in early January.A native Syrian with longstanding ties to al-Qaida, al-Suri was a co-founder of Ahrar al-Sham, a prominent, hard-line rebel group in Syria that is part of a powerful alliance of seven groups known as the Islamic Front.Akram al-Halabi, a spokesman for the Islamic Front, described al-Suri as "a big figure in global jihad," and said he was appointed by al-Zawahri last year to mediate a dispute between the two al-Qaida affiliates in Syria: the Islamic State and the Nusra Front. Speaking via Skype, Al-Halabi said al-Suri had been critical of the Islamic State and its antagonistic approach toward other rebel factions. He said rebels believe the Islamic State, which al-Qaida publicly disowned earlier this month, was behind Sunday's bombing.
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