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Explosion at Syria jihadist base kills 23: monitor

AFP  |  Beirut 

An at a base for Asian jihadists in northwestern Syria's city today killed 23 people including seven civilians, a monitor said.

Extremist groups fighting in count thousands of Asians among their ranks, including many from central Asian states and members of the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority of China's province.

"A large this evening hit the base of the Ajnad al-Qawqaz faction in Idlib," said for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman, adding that most of the non- civilian casualties were fighters from the group.

He did not specify the cause of the blast, but activists on said a car bomb was responsible.

Dozens of people were wounded, particularly fighters, according to who said the base was "almost completely destroyed" and that nearby buildings were damaged.

The Ajnad al-Qawqaz group includes hundreds of Caucasian fighters and is battling alongside the al-Sham Front, a former affiliate, to repel a Syrian regime advance in the southeast of province.

The area has seen intense clashes following a regime offensive aimed at seizing a strategically vital highway between and second city

The Britain-based Observatory, which relies on a network of activists across Syria, said regime forces had seized more than 60 villages in the area since December 25.

An alliance dominated by al-Sham controls much of province where there are regular car bombings, often blamed on disputes between armed factions.

Some residents blame the Islamic State group for such attacks, although the group has no open presence in the province.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 02:45 IST