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Friday 6th
posted by James Tweedie in World

AT LEAST 11 civilians died in a huge terrorist blast in western Syria yesterday as al-Qaida urged Western-backed factions to break the ceasefire.

The attack on a crowded shopping street near a sports stadium in the Lattakia province town of Jableh, near the Russian air force base at Hmeimim, left cars charred and overturned and pools of blood on the road.

Qusay al-Khalil, the head of the local hospital, said: “The explosion rocked the town.”

Lattakia Health Department deputy director Majdoline Moussa said the bodies of 11 people killed in the terrorist attack had arrived at Jableh National Hospital. She added that 35 wounded were also admitted.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the atrocity bore the hallmarks of a string of Isis-claimed bombings on the town last May that killed some 120 people.

In an interview with Qatar’s al-Jazeera news published late on Wednesday, Levant Conquest Front spokesman Hossam al-Shafei urged a rejection of the “humiliating” ceasefire which excludes his al-Qaida-linked faction and Isis.

He said the insurgency “today needs someone to … strengthen its political position by battlefield achievements” — despite its defeat in Aleppo last month.

Meanwhile, 200 militants from five villages west of Damascus and near the Lebanese border were granted amnesty yesterday under a deal struck on Tuesday.

Kafr Hawar, Baytima and Bayt Sabir, Sa’sa’ al-Gharbia and Hasno became the latest insurgent strongholds to make peace with the government.

And Kurdish YPG militia liberated four more villages from south of Ayn Issa on the road to the Isis stronghold of Raqqa.

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