Syria: Blast in coastal city of Latakia kills 1

January 22, 2019 - 7:11 am

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A car bomb exploded at a busy intersection in the coastal city of Latakia on Tuesday, killing a civilian and wounding 14, Syrian state-run media said.

The TV station said the explosion occurred mid-afternoon in the city's Al-Hammam Square, which is usually crowded with people. It said specialized units dismantled a second bomb before it detonated in the same location.

Footage broadcast on TV showed people gathered around the wreckage of a smoldering car.

Latakia has been a government stronghold since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.

The blast came two days after an explosion struck a neighborhood in the capital Damascus, in which state media said there were no casualties.

The explosions shattered a sense of relative calm in government-controlled areas that had somewhat stabilized after major advances by troops against insurgents in different parts of the country with Russian and Iranian help.

Syria's war has killed nearly half a million people and forced more than half its pre-war population from their homes.

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