DAMASCUS (Reuters) – An early Monday morning bus attack in northern Syria left 13 people dead, most of them government soldiers, the country’s defense ministry said.
A ministry statement said 11 government soldiers and two civilians were killed in what it said was a terrorist attack on a civilian transport bus. He said three other soldiers were injured.
Syrian state news agency SANA said the attack took place in the Jabal al-Bishri area of the sprawling province of Raqqa.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ambush was carried out by Islamic State sleeper cells which launch blitzkrieg attacks in desert areas of the country.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
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Syria’s 11-year conflict has divided the country into several control zones, with government troops and allied fighters controlling most of the territory.
Part of the northwest territory is held by Turkish-backed rebels and more radical groups while Kurdish-led forces with US backing hold the northeast.
One of the deadliest bus ambushes took place in December 2020, when 28 people were killed in an attack on a main highway in Deir al-Zor province in eastern Syria.
(Reporting by Kinda Makieh and Omar Fahmy, writing by Maya Gebeily, editing by Gareth Jones, William Maclean)
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