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Suicide Bomber Kills, Injures Scores in Syria's Idlib Province


A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of jihadist rebels near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores, rebel sources said.

They said the blast ripped a textile factory which members of Hayat Tahrir al Sham, an alliance of rebel groups whose backbone is the former al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front, had been using as their quarters. At least 12 were killed, one rebel source said.

The jihadist alliance has been waging in the last few days a major sweep to round up ultra-hard-line Islamic State sleeper cells in Idlib province. They say they have arrested at least 100 people, including who the group says are senior operatives blamed for a string of recent assassinations and blasts in the province.

Idlib province is dominated mainly by Islamist jihadist groups, although there is some presence of the moderate Western-vetted Free Syrian Army groups.

The province, which borders Turkey, has long witnessed infighting between the main jihadist groups vying for power.

Although opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule, insurgents are riven by deep divisions on ideology and rivalry that erupt occasionally in deadly clashes.

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