Blast kills two at bus station in Syria's central city of Hama


The city has largely been spared the levels of violence that much of the country has seen

A rebel fighter drives past the local council building in the village of Rahbet Khattab in the Hama province on 23 March 2017 (AFP)
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Last update: 
Thursday 6 July 2017 13:19 UTC

At least two people were killed and several wounded on Thursday in a bomb blast at a bus station in the central Syrian city of Hama, state media reported.

"A terrorist with an explosive belt blew himself up at the western bus station in Hama," state television said.

State news agency SANA confirmed the bomb blast and gave a toll of two dead and nine wounded.

On Sunday, a bomb killed 20 people and wounded dozens more in Damascus.

Hama city is the capital of the governorate of the same name, and is under government control.

Last month, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public appearance outside the capital when he attended Eid al-Fitr prayers in Hama city.

The city has been largely spared the devastation faced by Syrian urban centres like Aleppo, although it has been struck by occasional violence. 

In October, at least two people were killed in suicide blasts claimed by the Islamic State group.

Across the rest of the province however, government forces are still battling militant fighters and allied opposition forces.

Regime forces, backed by heavy Russian air strikes, launched a major assault in June on territory held by IS in rural parts of Hama. 

The province is of strategic importance to Assad, separating opposition forces in Idlib from Damascus to the south and the regime's coastal heartlands to the west.

More than 320,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.