Syrian Rebels Bomb Checkpoint in Hama, Kill 37

Most of Slain Were Civilians

by Jason Ditz, October 20, 2013

Syrian rebels attacked a military checkpoint on the outskirts of the central city of Hama today, killing at least 37 people, including 26 civilians. 10 others are listed as “seriously wounded,” so the toll could rise further.

The checkpoint was near a busy road on the outskirts of the city, and the 1.5 tons of explosives the bomber was estimated to have used damaged many vehicles and houses across the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-rebel mouthpiece, says that the attacker was a member of Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the top al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.

Jabhat al-Nusra has favored the use of suicide bombings in the civil war. The attacks commonly target security checkpoints or police stations, but the nature of such bombings means that civilian bystanders often find themselves in the line of fire at a moment’s notice.

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