14 killed in car bombing in Homs: Report
Beirut: A powerful car bomb exploded on Friday outside a mosque in a pro-government district of central Syria, killing 14 peoples, state-run Syrian television reported.
The bombing occurred as worshippers left the Bilal al-Habshi mosque on the edge of Akrama after attending Friday prayers, the TV said.
The area, populated mainly by Alawites, members of President Bashar Assad`s minority sect, repeatedly has been targeted by car bombs in recent months.
Opposition activists also reported the blast. The Syrian Observatory for Human rights said the explosion killed at least nine people, adding that the number likely would rise because many of the wounded were in critical condition.
The attack coincides with a crushing offensive by government forces aimed at retaking the last rebel bastions in the historic quarters of the old city of Homs. The last few days has seen some of the fiercest fighting there in months.
Homs is the last major stronghold for rebels in central Syria, and the fight to take it underscores how emboldened Syrian forces have become in opposition-held areas, bolstered by fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
Activists say more than 150,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since it began in March 2011 with largely peaceful protests calling for Assad`s ouster.
The larger fight to topple Assad has been undermined by fierce rebel infighting, particularly since the beginning of the year.
In an audio message posted on militant websites yesterday, the spokesman of a powerful al Qaeda breakaway group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, slammed the terror network`s chief, blaming him for the widening rift between rival Islamic rebels.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani accused al Qaeda`s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, of "deviating from the right approach" and betraying the cause of jihad, or holy war.
Since January, the Islamic State has been engaged in fierce fighting against an al Qaeda affiliate called the Nusra Front. Thousands of fighters have been killed.
The fighting intensified after al-Zawahri stepped into the rivalry. The Islamic State rejected his orders that the Nusra Front take the lead among Islamic fighters in Syria.
"The al Qaeda of today is no longer the al Qaeda of jihad, but its command has become a pickaxe to demolish the Islamic State," al-Adnani said.
He said that al Qaeda`s leadership has been calling ISIL followers renegades without a proof, inciting other Muslims to kill their fighters.
The shadowy al-Adnani is one of the world`s most feared terrorists, infamous for his relentless bombing campaigns against Iraqi civilians, audacious jailbreaks of fellow militants and for expanding the organization into Syria.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Watch - Huge fire breaks out at petrol pump in Kota, Rajasthan
- NSG now 'nine times' stronger; receives technological strength from 12 countries!
- RJD strongman Shahabuddin brought to Delhi
- UP elections in third phase; voting on 69 seats of 12 districts
- Bihar: Congress leader Brajesh Pandey accused of running sex racket
- 'BJP is winning by absolute majority in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections'
- 7th Pay Commission: Allowances committee raises HRA to 30%?
- Virat Kohli thanks sprint legend Usain Bolt for congratulating on 'record' Puma deal
- Virat Kohli becomes first Indian sportsperson to sign Rs 100-crore endorsement deal
- Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017: Samajwadi Party's 'kaam bolta hai' slogan faces litmus test