DAMASCUS: A car bomb killed four people and wounded more than two dozen in Syria’s third city Homs on Tuesday, state media said, days after the government regained full control.
The blast struck near the Al-Zahraa neighbourhood, where most residents belong to the same Alawite sect as President Bashar al-Assad.
The bomber drove the vehicle towards a checkpoint where security forces opened fire, detonating the explosives inside, state news agency SANA said. At least 30 people were wounded in the blast, it reported.
“Some of those with minor injuries have already left hospital,” governor Talal Barazi told state television.
The bombing comes two days after the government announced it had taken full control of Homs, following the evacuation of rebel fighters from the last neighbourhood under their control.
The Russian-supervised evacuation of the Waer district was the latest blow to the rebels by government troops backed by their Russian and Iranian allies. Since December, the rebels have lost their former bastion of Aleppo and nearly all of the areas they controlled in Damascus.
Homs’s Al-Zahraa district has been targeted repeatedly during Syria’s six-year civil war, several times by the Islamic State group. There was also an apparent car bombing attempt near Damascus on Tuesday, SANA reported.
Police opened fire on a vehicle near a checkpoint which turned out to be carrying explosives and blew up, killing one civilian and wounding another, the news agency said. The incident happened on the road south from the capital to Syria’s holiest Shiite Muslim shrine, the Sayyida Zeinab mausoleum.
In March, twin suicide attacks at Sayyida Zeinab killed 74 people, most of them Iraqi pilgrims. -AFP