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Suicide bomber kills and injures scores in Syria’s Idlib province

By Reuters - Jul 13,2017 - Last updated at Jul 13,2017

BEIRUT — A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of extremist rebels near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores, rebel sources said.

They said the blast ripped a textile factory where members of Hayat Tahrir Al Sham, an alliance of rebel groups whose backbone is the former Al Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front, had been using as their quarters. At least 12 were killed, one rebel source said.

The extremist alliance has been waging in the last few days a major sweep to round up ultra-hardline Daesh terror group sleeper cells in Idlib province. They say they have arrested at least 100 people, including who the group says are senior operatives blamed for a string of recent assassination and blasts in the province.

Idlib province is dominated mainly by extremist groups although there is some presence of the moderate Western-vetted Free Syrian Army groups. The province, which borders Turkey, has long witnessed infighting between the main extremist groups vying for power.

Although opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule, insurgents are riven by deep divisions on ideology and rivalry that erupts occasionally in deadly clashes.

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