Middle East

Weapons market blast an accident: Observatory

BEIRUT: A purported car bomb explosion at a weapons market in rural Deir al-Zor Saturday was the result of an “accidental” detonation of an improvised explosive device, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 

The Britain-based anti-regime group said the total casualty count for the incident, which took place in the town of Mayadin, stood at 9 killed and at least 21 wounded, although it added that the death toll might rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition. 

The Observatory cited activists in the area and eyewitness accounts that said an arms merchant was inadvertently responsible for the carnage, after he arrived at the market with a number of IEDs in his car, intending to make a sale. 

One of them went off “by mistake,” the Observatory said, but set off a chain reaction of other blasts of IEDs and other weapons on display.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 16, 2014, on page 8.




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