ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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16 hurt in bus bombing in southern Syria near Jordanian border

State media says terrorists planted explosive on bus traveling along Damascus-Amman highway; attack comes day after rare car bombing in capital

A convoy of Syrian military vehicles at Naseeb border crossing with Jordan, in the southern province of Daraa, Syria, July 7, 2018. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP/ File)
A convoy of Syrian military vehicles at Naseeb border crossing with Jordan, in the southern province of Daraa, Syria, July 7, 2018. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP/ File)

DAMASCUS, Syria — A bus attack in the south of Syria, near the country’s border with Jordan, wounded at least 16 people on Monday, Syrian state media said.

“Sixteen employees of the joint Syrian-Jordanian duty-free zone were injured, after terrorists planted an explosive device near the bus they were on,” state news agency SANA said.

The attack took place “near the Saida bridge on the Damascus-Amman highway,” an area in Syria’s Daraa province, SANA said.

Daraa was the cradle of Syria’s 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, but it returned to Damascus’s control in 2018 under a ceasefire deal backed by Russia.

The province has been wracked by violence for years, however.

The Islamic State group, whose third leader was killed in Daraa in October, sometimes claims responsibility for attacks in the region.

Illustrative: A photograph taken from the Israeli Golan Heights shows a smoke plume rising during airstrikes backing a Syrian-government-led offensive in the southwestern province of Daraa, July 23, 2018. (JALAA MAREY/AFP)

Monday’s attack comes one day after a rare car bombing rocked the capital Damascus, with no deaths reported and no side claiming responsibility.

On January 30, a bomb attack on a bus carrying Syrian police wounded 15 officers in Daraa province, which is mostly controlled by Syrian government forces and former rebels who have reached understandings with the regime.

The Syrian war broke out in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful anti-government protests, and escalated into a deadly armed conflict that pulled in foreign powers and global jihadists.

More than half a million people have been killed and around half of Syria’s pre-war population has been forced from their homes.

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