At least 21 people including women and children were killed by twin car bombs in the central Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, a monitoring group and state media said.
The explosions went off in the Karam al-Loz area of Homs, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, and the death toll was expected to rise because over 100 people were wounded, some seriously.
Syrian state news agency SANA put the death toll at 25, saying it included women and children. It said 107 people were wounded, including one of the agency’s photographers.
Quoting an unnamed local source, SANA said the first bomb went off near a sweets store on a busy street, followed by a second one in the same district about half an hour later.
The explosions “caused heavy damage to citizens’ property, homes, stores and cars in the neighbourhood,” it said.
The Observatory, an anti-Assad group that monitors violence on both sides through a network of sources in Syria, said the area was inhabited largely by Alawites, the Shi’ite Islam-derived sect of President Bashar al-Assad. It put the death toll at 21.
The rebels fighting to overthrow Assad are overwhelmingly Sunni.
A blast in Homs on Sunday killed at least 29 rebels, including two field commanders, the Observatory said at the time.
Syria’s conflict has killed over 150,000 people and forced millions more to flee their homes.