Damascus:Twin car bomb explosions in the central Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday killed at least 18 people, mostly children, and wounded 40 others, state news agency SANA reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, reported the same toll in the double bombing in the Akrameh neighbourhood of Homs.
The group said the toll could rise as body parts were still being collected from the scene and several of the wounded were in serious condition.
"Two terrorist explosions near the Akrameh al-Makhzumi school and the Zaim hospital caused deaths and injuries," Syrian state television reported.
The neighbourhood is home to a majority of Alawites, members of the same offshoot of Shiite Islam to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.
The district has been targeted more than once before, including on June 19, when at least six people were killed in a car bomb attack.
Homs was once dubbed "the capital of the revolution" against Assad. Most of the city, except the battered district of Waar, has returned to regime control after two years of bombardment and siege.