Apr 7, 2015 5:15 PM

Activists: 2 deadly car bombs hit rebel bases in Syria

The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) A pair of car bombs targeted two rebel bases north of the Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday, killing and wounding dozens, two activist groups said.

The attacks targeted compounds belonging to Islamic opposition groups in the countryside north of Aleppo, a strategic stretch of territory because of its proximity to neighboring Turkey. Long a stronghold for Syrian rebels, the area has been a flash point since the Islamic State group advanced into the region several months ago.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the first bombing hit the town of Marea, killing at least seven people, including two rebel leaders, and wounding dozens more. It said a second explosion in the Hur Kilis area killed and wounded up to 40 people, although the Observatory did not have exact figures.

The Aleppo Media Center activist group put the toll in the first blast at 12 killed and more than 15 wounded. It reported at least 30 casualties in the second attack in Hur Kilis.

The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled, but differences in casualty figures are common in the chaotic aftermath of attacks in Syria.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on the Islamic State group, which frequently carries out such attacks.

Also on Tuesday, the Lebanese army said it killed three militants and wounded four others in a raid near the border with Syria.

The military said in a statement that it carried out the raid in the hills of Mkhairmeh based on information that "terrorist groups" were preparing logistics for combat operations there.

It said the army attack was in the context of "preventive military operations" to eradicate militant groups and prevent them from infiltrating Lebanon to target army outposts and civilians.

The Lebanese military occasionally clashes with Syria-based militants from the Islamic State group and the Nusra Front along the porous frontier.

Last year, militants from the two groups jointly raided the Lebanese border town of Arsal and captured about two dozen soldiers. Since then, they have killed four of the soldiers.


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