31 killed in attack near school in Syria

Beirut: Several children were among the 31 people killed in a pair of bombings near a school in the central Syrian city of Homs, a Syrian official said.

Seventy-four others were injured in the blasts.

The official said that 15 minutes after a car loaded with C4 explosives and gas cylinders blew up near the Akrima Makhzumi School in the Akrima Yadide district of Homs, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt.

Akrima Yadide is a district mostly inhabited by members of President Bashar Assad's minority Alawite sect, and it was not the first time the Alawite neighbourhoods of Homs have been targeted.

The UN puts the number of verified deaths in the Syrian armed conflict from its beginnings in March 2011 through April 2014 at 191,369, including nearly 9,000 children.

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