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At least 32 killed in bomb blasts in Syria's Homs: Monitor

Twin bomb blasts went off in Hom's Al-Zahraa neighbourhood
Syrians gather at the site of bomb attacks in the al-Zahraa neighbourhood of Homs (AFP)

At least 32 people were killed and 90 wounded in large bomb blasts Monday in the central Syrian city of Homs, monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The blasts, one from a car bomb and another from a suicide attack, struck the Zahra district in the middle of the city, said the UK-based Observatory, which monitors the conflict through a network of contacts on the ground.

Syria's state news agency SANA reported two car bomb blasts, but gave a lower initial toll of 14 dead.

SANA said two explosions caused by car bombs and a blast caused by a suicide attacker wearing an explosives-laden belt hit Al-Zahraa's main square. 

The residents of Al-Zahraa are mostly Alawites, the minority sect of Syria's ruling clan. 

The attack came less than three weeks after the Islamic State group - which has seized large parts of Homs province, including the historic city of Palymyra - claimed explosions in the same neighbourhood that left 16 people dead.

It also comes after many of the residents of Waer, Hom's last rebel-held district, were evacuated after more than two years under siege, leaving the government in full control of the city once called 'the capital of the revolution'.

The evacuation, which came as a result of two years negotiation between residents and the Syrian government and is the type of local ceasefire that the UN has pushed for in the country, has meant that many of those residents have been sent to areas of the country where humanitarian conditions are even worse, MEE has reported.

Other residents who wanted to stay remain in their homes without protection, and could be arrested or bombed at any moment, Rim Turkmani, a senior research fellow at the London School of Economic's Department of International Development, who is in touch with residents, told MEE.  

More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria's war, which began in 2011 with anti-government protests but spiralled into a bloody conflict.

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