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NOW

Car bomb rocks Idlib
town protesting Nusra

Maarat al-Numan residents have gathered daily in recent weeks to vent anger at the Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Maarat al-Numan blast site. (Facebook/almarra.today6)

BEIRUT – A deadly car bomb has ripped through Maarat al-Numan, which has witnessed rising tension in past weeks as residents of the Idlib town take to the streets to vent their anger at the Al-Nusra Front.

 

A loud explosion was heard Tuesday morning in the insurgent-held town—where Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate has clashed with a Free Syrian Army faction—as a result of a car bombing that killed a woman and injured a number of others, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights tracking the conflict in the war-torn country reported.

 

The “Almarra Today” outlet covered the incident, identifying the deceased victim as Sobhia al-Barghot, who hails from the nearby village of Jardah.

 

Al-Kabir Mosque

Destruction in the Al-Kabir Mosque following Tuesday's blast. (Facebook/Almarra Today)

 

The blast caused extensive damage to the Al-Kabir Mosque and nearby shops in the center of the town, according to the website that provides up-to-the-hour updates on developments in Maarat al-Numan, which has garnered international attention for its anti-Nusra protests.

 

Idlib’s Civil Defense Force announced that its emergency response technicians rushed to the explosion site, where they applied first aid to three injured people and cleared debris and shrapnel from the road.

 

Damage caused by Tuesday's car bombing. (YouTube/Almarra Today)

 

The perpetrators of the attack remain unknown as of midday Tuesday, with pro-rebel outlets refusing to speculate so far on the identity of the bombers.

 

Residents of Maarat al-Numan have protested against Nusra since the jihadist group on March 12 attacked the bases of Division 13, an FSA-linked group based in the northwestern Syrian town.

 

Despite Nusra’s heavy-handed measures in Maarat al-Numaan, including the forcible dispersal of a protest on March 11, a large crowd that included women and young children gathered on March 14 to chant against the Al-Qaeda affiliate and burn down one of its headquarters.

 

Since then, residents have held daily protests against Nusra, which has accused Division 13 of “aggressions,” a claim flatly rejected by the FSA group. 

 

NOW’s English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report. Amin Nasr translated Arabic-language source material.

A car bomb ripped through Maarat al-Numan on Tuesday morning. (Facebook/almarra.today6)

Idlib’s Civil Defense Force announced that its emergency response technicians rushed to the explosion site, where they applied first aid to three injured people and cleared debris and shrapnel from the road.