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DAMASCUS: Twin car bombs killed at least 22 people in the Syrian city of Idlib yesterday as universities nationwide held a day of mourning for 87 people killed in explosions on the student campus in second city Aleppo.
The bombings had the hallmarks of operations staged by the jihadist Al Nusra Front, a rebel group which has a strong presence on the ground in northwestern Syria and is blacklisted by the United States as a “terrorist” organisation.
“The first explosion took place in Al Ziraa Square and the second explosion took place in Al Mutlaq Square, killing 22 civilians and wounding 30,” the state Sana news agency reported, blaming “terrorists” for the blasts.
Idlib city remains under the control of forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad but most of the rest of the northwestern province on the border with Turkey is in the hands of rebels fighting to oust him.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gave a higher toll of 24 dead and said most were soldiers. The Britain-based watchdog said there were three bombs in all and that many of the wounded were in critical condition.
The Observatory said that the death toll from Tuesday’s blasts at Aleppo University could top 100 as many of the wounded are in critical condition, which would make it one of the bloodiest attacks of the 22-month conflict.