Bomb explosion near military bus in Syria kills 18 soldiers

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Bomb explosion near military bus in Syria kills 18 soldiers

Beirut: A bomb explosion near a military bus in Syria kills 18 soldiers. A bomb exploded near a Syrian military bus on the outskirts of Damascus on Thursday, killing 18 soldiers and injuring 27 others, Syrian media reported citing a military source.

Similar attacks in recent years have killed and injured dozens of soldiers in government-controlled areas of the war-torn country. Last March, militants attacked a military bus near Palmyra in central Syria, killing 13 soldiers and injuring 18 others.

In the past, Syrian authorities have blamed these attacks on Islamic State group militants who have been active in the south and center Syriadespite the loss of territorial control of the country since 2019.

In northern Syria, members of an al-Qaeda-linked group have captured a town held by Turkish-backed opposition fighters since 2018. The capture of the city of Afrin by Hayat operatives Tahrir al-Sham, Arab for the Liberation of the Levant Committee, which is the strongest militant group in the rebel-held northwest, came after days of fighting between rival insurgent groups in the region.

The UK-based company Syrian Observatory for Human Rightsan opposition war watcher, said HTS had captured around 30 military posts in the region from Turkish-backed groups.

The fighting was sparked by the murder last week of a citizen journalist and his wife who were shot while riding a motorbike in the northern town of al-Bab. A Turkish-backed group was accused of the murder and since then has been attacked by several insurgent groups, including HTS.

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