Syria 'hand grenade attack' kills two children in 'drug-fuelled' Homs gang war
A hand grenade was thrown into a crowd of children in a central Syrian village on Monday, killing two children and wounding three more.
The unidentified attacker targeted boys and girls in Al-Mashahde village, Homs province, an area under tight regime control and reportedly a hotspot for drug gangs.
Sources told The New Arab's Arabic sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that a boy and a girl were killed in the attack and that one of the three wounded, a girl, is in critical condition.
The incident was reportedly sparked by a dispute between smugglers linked with Syrian regime forces, the sources said.
Roads leading to Al-Mashahde are teeming with military checkpoints and troops from the regime's Fourth Division given its location on a smuggling route from Lebanon, they added.
All vehicles must pass through two checkpoints before entering the village, leading to allegations that the attacker is linked to regime security forces.
Syria and neighbouring countries have seen "drug wars" break out due to the spread of captagon, an amphetamine that is produced in and distributed from regime-held areas.