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5 Jan, 2017 12:58

At least 11 killed, 35 injured in car blast outside stadium in Jableh, Syria – state TV

At least 11 people were killed and 35 injured as a car bomb detonated in the center of the Syrian town of Jableh in the Latakia Governorate, state TV reports.

The bomb went off near a local stadium. Scores of cars have been set on fire by the explosion and several shops nearby have been damaged by the blast, the report said.

The coastal Mediterranean governorate is predominantly populated by the Alawite sect, and is part of the power base of the Syrian government.

According to local senior medical officer Ghassan Findi, the number of dead and injured is expected to rise, since the wounded are still being transported to hospitals, Reuters reports, citing state TV.

Rescue workers are continuing to scour the debris for dead and wounded, the news outlet adds.

The cities of Jableh and Tartus in Latakia witnessed a spate of devastating terrorist bombings in May last year. Up to 150 people died as a result of the attacks targeting several locations.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) announced at the time, through the ISIS-linked outlet Amaq, that “gatherings of Alawites in Tartous and Jableh” were targeted.

It is not yet clear who is behind the latest attack in Jableh.