Fourteen Alawites killed by bomb in central Syria - group

September 19, 2013 15:27

BEIRUT- A roadside bomb killed at least 14 members of President Bashar Assad's minority Alawite on Thursday in the central Syrian province of Homs, an opposition monitoring group said.

The blast targeted two buses near the Alawite village of Jabourin, 13 km (8 miles) north of Homs city, said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.Alawites are an offshoot sect of Shi'ite Islam who mostly support Assad and have been increasingly targeted by hardline fighters among the Sunni Muslim-dominated opposition in the 2-1/2 year revolt against the president.

The northern suburbs of Homs, which Assad's forces consider vital to securing their hold from Damascus to the president's coastal Alawite stronghold, have suffered heavy shelling and clashes between government forces and rebel fighters for several months.

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