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Car Bomb in Assad Stronghold Kills at Least 10

  • Reuters

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians gather at the site of a car bombing in the port city of Latakia, Syria, Sept. 2, 2015.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians gather at the site of a car bombing in the port city of Latakia, Syria, Sept. 2, 2015.

At least ten people were killed and scores wounded when a car bomb exploded in the Syrian city of Latakia on Wednesday, state television said, in a rare attack in a coastal stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad.

The explosion was in a main square, state television said.

Latakia has so far been largely spared the violence that has ravaged Syria during more than four years of civil war, killing around a quarter of a million people.

Video footage on state and social media showed burning vehicles in an area littered also with the wreckage of scores of cars smashed by the force of the blast. Rescue workers and civilians were seen fighting the fires.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which state media said was carried out by "terrorists", a term it uses to describe insurgents fighting to topple Assad.

While Latakia city has been spared, the surrounding province of the same name — home to Syria's biggest port and a stronghold of Assad's Alawite sect — has been a key battleground in long conflict.

Sunni Muslim jihadists, including al-Qaida's Syrian offshoot the Nusra Front, control many villages in the borderlands north of the Mediterranean port city and other areas dominated by Alawites, who follow an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

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