Car bomb hits Syria regime stronghold Latakia
January 22 2019 06:11 PM
A burning vehicle in the Syrian regime's coastal stronghold of Latakia.
A burning vehicle in the Syrian regime's coastal stronghold of Latakia. AFP/SANA Telegram page

AFP/Damascus

A car bomb exploded Tuesday in the Syrian regime's coastal stronghold of Latakia, killing one person and wounding four others, state news agency SANA reported.
"Initial reports indicate that a car bomb exploded and that the driver was killed while four other people were wounded," SANA said, adding that the explosion occurred in the city's Al-Hammam square.
Authorities found a second bomb in the same place and defused it just before it was due to blow up, the agency added.
It published video footage showing a burnt-out car surrounded by firefighters and soldiers.
Latakia is a bastion of the family of President Bashar al-Assad.
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.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, Tuesday's blast was caused by an explosive device hidden inside the car or near it.
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the driver killed in the blast was not a suicide attacker.
In September 2015 a car bomb had exploded in the same square, killing dozens of people.
The latest explosion comes days after a blast -- the first in more than a year -- hit the Syrian capital Damascus which has also been largely insulated from the war.
According to SANA the bomb blast hit southern Damascus without causing any victims, but the Observatory reported it left a number of people dead and wounded.



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