Report: 54 Civilians Killed as Bus Bomb Attacked Syrian Military Factory

Attack Sparks Anger Against Islamist Rebels

by Jason Ditz, February 08, 2013

At least 54 people were killed today when a minibus packed with explosives detonated at a bus stop next to a Syrian military supply factory in Buraq, a suburb of Hama. The slain are all civilians, mostly workers at the factory.

Both Syrian state media and rebel sources were quick to condemn the attack, with one rebel outlet noting that the factory did not make weapons, but rather made other supplies for the Syrian Defense Ministry.

No group has yet claimed responsibility, but the general consensus is that it is one of the Islamist factions in the rebel movement, with the al-Nusra Front seen as a likely culprit given their past use of similar tactics.

This has sparked a backlash against the Islamists, particularly since 11 of the workers were women. Though rebels regularly attack government-held areas, and government-run buildings, the huge civilian toll is not sitting well with many of the more moderate factions.

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