Suicide bomber kills 50 Syrian security men: opposition
By Mariam Karouny and Tom Perry
BEIRUT (Reuters) - An Islamist suicide car bomber killed at least 50 Syrian security men in Hama province on Monday, an opposition group said, in what would be one of the bloodiest single attacks on President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the 20-month-old uprising.
Another day of relentless violence in Syria coincided with more unity talks in Qatar among opposition factions.
Syrian state media reported that a "terrorist" suicide bomber had targeted a rural development centre in Sahl al-Ghab in Hama province, putting the death toll at two.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the centre was used by security forces and pro-Assad militia as one of their biggest bases in the area.
"A fighter from the Nusra Front drove his car to the centre and then blew himself up," he said. "A series of explosions followed. At least 50 were killed."
The Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-inspired group of ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslims, has claimed responsibility for several suicide bombings in Damascus and elsewhere in the past. It operates mostly independently of other rebel factions, some of which have criticized it for indiscriminate tactics.
Syrian officials often blame foreign-backed Islamist militants for the anti-Assad revolt, in which about 32,000 people have been killed since it began in March 2011.
In Damascus, a car bomb exploded in the mostly Alawite western district of Mezzeh 86, killing 11 people and wounding dozens more, including children, state media and the Syrian Observatory reported. Continued...