Eight killed in twin bombings in Syria

Damascus, Sep 4 (IANS) Two explosions rocked the predominantly-Druze city of Swaida in southern Syria on Friday, leaving at least eight people killed, reported Xinhua citing the state-run TV.

The first blast took place at the Daher al-Jabal area in Swiada, in which four people were killed and 11 others wounded.

The governor of Swaida, Atef al-Naddaf, said the blasts aim to stir sedition in Swaida, which has remained largely calm during the country’s long-running conflict.

Meanwhile, the second explosion was caused by a booby-trapped car that went off near the National Hospital and is feared to have caused a high number of casualties, including doctors, the TV and sources said.

The Druze minority, along with other minority groups in Syria, has emerged as supporters of President Bashar Al Assad, fearing the expansion of radical jihadist groups that showed no tolerance of minority groups in Syria.

However, the Druze support of the Syrian regime didn’t stop them from criticizing the government’s conduct in that city near the Jordanian borders.

Last week, several dozens of people staged protests before government institutions in Swaida, urging for reforms.

Due to its proximity to the southern province of Daraa, which has largely fallen to jihadi groups, the Druze in Swaida formed their own militias to defend their city against the threats of the jihadists, which attacked some areas in the countryside of Swaida in recent months.

Those local militias, while formed in coordination with the Syrian army, enjoy some independence as their ranks largely comprise volunteers.

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