Nine killed in explosion in Idlib: monitor

Nine killed in explosion in Idlib: monitor
Nine people, mainly civilians, were killed in an explosion in Idlib on Saturday evening.
2 min read
The cause of the explosion is not clear [AFP]

Nine people, mostly civilians, were killed on Saturday evening in an explosion in the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria but the cause was not immediately clear, a war monitor said.

The blast left 26 more people wounded, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which relies on a network of sources inside the war-torn country.

In recent months, several explosions have rocked Idlib province, which has witnessed infighting between competing hardline groups opposed to dictator Bashar al-Assad.

The most prominent armed group is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which is led by Syria's former al-Qaeda branch.

Syria's war has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria. 

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.