13 rebels dead in Syria premature car bomb blast: NGO
Damascus: At least 13 rebels died in a blast in the city of Homs in central Syria on Sunday as they primed a car bomb for an attack, an NGO said.
In the capital, meanwhile, two people were killed when mortar fire struck the Damascus Opera House.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 13 rebels were killed in the besieged Old City of Homs when a car bomb exploded.
“The death toll is likely to rise because there are dozens of people missing and body parts in the area of the blast,” the Britain-based group said.
State news agency SANA also reported the blast, saying a car had exploded while being loaded with explosives.
The blast took place on the outskirts of the besieged Old City of Homs, which is under rebel control.
Some 1,400 civilians were able to leave the area this year under UN supervision, but an estimated 1,500 people remain until the army siege.
In the capital, SANA said two people were killed in mortar fire by rebel fighters.
“Two people were killed and five wounded by a mortar round that hit the Damascus Opera House” near key government and military buildings on Umayyad Square, it said.
The attack damaged the Opera House, which was inaugurated by President Bashar al-Assad in 2004.
Mortar fire also wounded three people in the Abbasids neighbourhood of northeast Damascus, SANA said.
On Saturday, mortar rounds struck near the Russian embassy, said the Syrian Observatory.
The rebel fire on Damascus comes as government forces step up a campaign to crush insurgents in its eastern suburbs, the Observatory said.