9 killed in “terrorist attack” on military bus in central Syria: defence ministry

Damascus, Jan 10 (UNI) A military bus carrying Syrian soldiers was hit by an explosive device in the desert near the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Province on Tuesday, killing nine people and wounding 13 others, the Syrian Defence Ministry said.

The ministry specified that the fatalities included eight soldiers and one civilian, attributing the attack to “terrorists.”

In an earlier report, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bus was targeted by Islamic State (IS) militants. It said that 14 soldiers were killed and 19 others wounded in the attack near the T-3 oil station in the sprawling desert region in the remote countryside of Homs Province, adding that the injured were taken to the Tadmur Hospital in Palmyra.

The Syrian desert has seen a surge of IS attacks since the start of 2024 in areas under government control, the observatory said. Earlier on Tuesday, it reported that an IS ambush killed a Syrian military officer and a pro-government fighter in the desert of Athraya in the northern province of Raqqa.

On Jan. 5, two Syrian military personnel were killed in another IS ambush in the desert east of Homs, according to the local radio channel Sham FM.

The IS group has lost most of its territory in Syria, but its fighters have continued to launch attacks in the country’s vast desert region.

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