Twin blasts in the city of Homs were among the deadliest strikes to hit the government-controlled area in months

Beirut : At least 30 Syrian children were killed on Wednesday in a double bombing by a lone assailant at a school in the government-controlled city of Homs, a monitor said, reports AFP.

 They were among 39 people who died in the attack in the Akrameh neighbourhood, according to a new toll from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “At least 30 children were among 39 people killed in the double bombing at the Akrameh al-Makhzumi school in Homs today,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman     One suicide attacker carried out both of the bombings.

“He planted a bomb at one location at the school, and then blew himself up at another spot nearby,” Abdel Rahman told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. But Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Al-Nusra Front, said it was behind a similar twin bombing in the central city that killed at least 12 people in May. Speaking to AFP, Homs governor Talal al-Barazi had also reported the deadly attacks, giving a toll of 31 killed and 74 wounded.

The children were between six and nine years old, he added. The toll is among the highest for children in suicide attacks across Syria since the conflict erupted in the country three years ago.

In August 2013, a chemical attack on rebel areas in the outskirts of Damascus killed dozens of children, and the year before 49 children were killed in the Houla “massacre” in Homs province.  Homs’ Akrameh neighbourhood is home to a majority of Alawites, members of the same offshoot of Shiite Islam to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

The district has been targeted more than once before, including on June 19, when at least six people were killed in a car bomb attack. Homs was once dubbed “the capital of the revolution” against Assad.

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