Bombing Rocks Syrian Regime Stronghold of Latakia

Tuesday, 22 January, 2019 - 18:30
Asharq Al-Awsat

At least one person was killed Tuesday in a car bombing in the Syrian regime's coastal stronghold of Latakia, reported state news agency SANA.

SANA cited the head of the Latakia health department as saying a "terrorist explosion" had killed one civilian and wounded 14.

SANA earlier said the person killed was the driver of the vehicle, a Suzuki minivan, that blew up in the Sahat al-Hamam district.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the blast was caused by an explosive device hidden inside the car or near it.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the driver was not a suicide attacker.

Most of those wounded were hit by shrapnel, the director of the city's Tishrin hospital, Louay Naddaf, told state television.

Authorities found a second explosive device in the same place and defused it just before it was due to blow up, SANA said.

The city, the capital of Latakia province located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, has largely escaped the violence that has devastated other regions of Syria since the conflict began in 2011.

But the province has been targeted by "sporadic strikes" by opposition factions or extremists, according to the Observatory.

The region abuts the last major area outside of the regime's control and which includes much of Idlib province as well as adjacent parts of Hama and Aleppo provinces.

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