Simultaneous bombings have targeted separate areas across the western Syria city of Homs, claiming a total of 42 lives.
The attacks struck the city on Saturday. Some reports said the fatalities included a senior security official, named Hossein Da’aboul (pictured below).
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the sound of gunfire and explosions had been heard early in the day. It described the attacks as double bombings hitting “the headquarters of state security and military intelligence in two central districts.”
Homs is largely under government control.
Responsibility for the attacks is yet to be claimed by any party. Most such bombings, however, are carried out by either Daesh or al-Nusra Front terrorist groups.
The two groups have been excluded from an all-Syria ceasefire between Damascus and anti-government militants due to the brutality of their actions. The ceasefire agreement was reached in late 2016.
The Syrian government has been negotiating with the political and armed opposition in the Kazakh capital of Astana under the auspices of Russia, Iran, and Turkey, and in Geneva through the United Nations good offices.
Friday marked the second day of renewed UN-mediated talks in the Swiss city. Speaking at the end of the day’s negotiations, Michael Contet, the acting chief of staff of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, said there had been signs that the Syrian government’s delegation and representatives of the armed opposition groups were ready to hold face-to-face negotiations.