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Attack on Syria church gathering kills one — state media

(Photo: AFP)

DAMASCUS — A civilian was killed and 12 injured Sunday by a drone attack on a church as it was being inaugurated in central Syria, the official SANA news agency reported.اضافة اعلان

“One civilian was killed and 12 injured in a drone attack by terrorist organizations on a crowded gathering in Al-Suqaylabiyah city in the Hama countryside,” the news agency said.

It said the attack came during a ceremony to inaugurate the Ayia Sofia church.

SANA initially said that two people died in an attack by a rocket before correcting its earlier report.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor which relies on sources on the ground, confirmed the attack.

It said one person was killed and six wounded in shelling or a drone attack by rebel groups deployed nearby.

Sunday’s attack came two days after bombardment killed seven people, including four children, in the rebel-held Idlib region.

The Observatory said Friday’s deaths in the Jisr Al-Shughur countryside of northern Syria were caused by Russian air strikes.

Around half of Idlib province as well as parts of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia provinces are controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, the former franchise in Syria of Al-Qaeda.

Other rebel groups in the last pocket of armed opposition to the Damascus regime also remain active, with varying degrees of Turkish backing.

In March 2020, Russia and Turkey brokered a truce in Idlib and neighboring areas that still holds, despite sporadic attacks from both sides, including Russian air strikes.

Syria’s war began in 2011 and has killed nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.

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