Twin bombings have killed at least 17 people, including 10 children, near a school in the government-controlled area of central Syria.
A Syrian pro-government channel aired on Wednesday a brief footage of the aftermath, showing distraught parents rushing about frantically looking for their children, amid strewn schoolbags and blood stains on the ground. Black flames rose from a car nearby.
Homs Governor Talal Barazzi described the attack as a “terrorist act and a desperate attempt that targeted school children.”
The blasts occurred just as the children were leaving the Ekremah al-Makhzoumi elementary school in the city of Homs, an official with the Homs governorate said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The first explosion was from a car bomb parked and detonated in front of the school, followed minutes later by a suicide bomber who drove by and detonated his explosives-laden car, said the anonymous official.
It was one of the deadliest strikes to hit Homs in months. At least 56 more people were wounded in the incident, the official said.
No claim of responsibility
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, but Syrian rebels fighting to oust Assad have carried out such bombings during the country’s civil war.
There have been horrific attacks against civilians by all sides throughout the brutal conflict, now in its fourth year, but rarely have children appeared to be the direct target.
In May, Syrian government forces dropped a bomb in the northern city of Aleppo, hitting a complex that held a school alongside a rebel compound. At least 19 people, including 10 children were killed in that incident. Al Jazeera