Terrorism

Wave of Idlib bombings targets Tahrir al-Sham

By Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo

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Medics tend to a man injured in one of the bombings that took place earlier this week in the city of al-Dana in rural Idlib. [Photo courtesy of Syrian Civil Defence]

A new wave of bombings targeting Tahrir al-Sham in the Idlib province city of al-Dana has caused a number of casualties in the ranks of the extremist alliance and among civilians who happened to be in the area, a local activist said.

A series of successive bombings began Tuesday night (May 29th) with an explosion that went off inside Tahrir al-Sham's headquarters in al-Dana, media activist Hussam al-Idlibi told Diyaruna.

The explosion, caused by a car bomb, killed and wounded an unspecified number of Tahrir al-Sham elements, he said.

Four successive explosions followed, one of which targeted the city administration centre where the Tahrir al-Sham-controlled "salvation government" is based.

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This photo was taken on May 5th, moments after a bombing targeted the city of Idlib, causing a number of casualties. [Photo courtesy of Syrian Civil Defence]

A dual explosion took place in another location, injuring four civil defence workers, with the second explosion occurring after they rushed to rescue those wounded at the site of the first explosion, al-Idlibi said.

The fourth explosion occurred when a car bomb blew up near the School of Industry on the road that connects al-Dana to the town of Deir Hassan.

This caused a number of casualties in the ranks of Tahrir al-Sham and among civilians who happened to be at the site, he said.

Tahrir al-Sham responds

Tahrir al-Sham elements immediately cordoned off the area after the blasts, blocking all side roads and setting up checkpoints on main roads, where they are conducting searches, al-Idlibi said.

The alliance also imposed a strict media blackout, he said, as the attack had targeted its headquarters building.

The alliance has been tight-lipped about the number of injuries in its ranks, he said, especially inside its al-Dana headquarters, where there are usually at least 30 elements, especially after iftar, when the car bomb was detonated.

Tahrir al-Sham also suffered a number of casualties in the attack on the city administration centre, where it maintains a guard unit consisting of five elements, he added, noting that the bombing occurred near this checkpoint.

In retaliation and in an attempt to prevent future attacks from "enemy sleeper cells", Tahrir al-Sham elements are carrying out raids in many locations in the area under the alliance's control, al-Idlibi said.

The alliance conducted a raid in Khan Sheikhun at dawn Wednesday, and detained a number of armed elements after fierce clashes, he said.

Tahrir al-Sham claimed the detainees belonged to Jund al-Aqsa and the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), he said.

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