Arms depot in Syria's Idlib province kills 39 – monitor


Destroyed building in Sarmada, Syria. Photo: 12 August 2018Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

Rescuers used bulldozers to remove the rubble and free trapped people

At least 39 people have been killed in a blast that brought down a building in Syria’s mainly rebel-held north-western province of Idlib, reports say.

The building in the Sarmada town is said to have contained munitions belonging to an arms trafficker.

There are still dozens of people missing, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitor says.

Idlib is the last major rebel-held area, and is expected to be the next target for Syrian armed forces.

In recent months, the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, has made major advances in its offensive against a number of rebel and jihadist groups across Syria.

On Sunday, rescuers in Sarmada used bulldozers to remove the rubble and pull out trapped people, a correspondent for the AFP news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the UK-based SOHR said that there were still dozens of people missing. Some reports suggest the number killed could be higher.

Most of those in the building are believed to have been Syrians displaced from the central Homs province.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.

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