World Bulletin / News Desk
A minister in Syria’s interim opposition government -- along with several opposition leaders -- was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Syria’s southwestern Daraa province, opposition sources reported Thursday.
The attack targeted a meeting -- attended by the opposition’s local administration minister, Yaaqoub al-Aamar, and other opposition leaders -- in the town of Ankhel on Daraa’s opposition-held outskirts, opposition sources told Anadolu Agency.
Seven meeting attendees were killed -- including the minister -- while 30 others were injured, the same sources said, speaking anonymously due to security concerns.
Ghassab al-Eid, head of Ankhel’s pro-opposition military council, was reportedly among those slain, while Esmat al-Absi, a pro-opposition judicial figure in Daraa, and Mohamed Monib, head of Daraa’s pro-opposition local council, were reportedly injured.
The Syrian Coalition, the main umbrella group representing Syria’s anti-regime opposition, has yet to issue a statement regarding the reported attack.
Daesh-linked social-media accounts, meanwhile, said the terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the reported attack, although the validity of this claim has yet to be verified.
The Syrian Coalition established the interim government three years ago to administrate opposition-held parts of the country.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.
The Syrian Center for Policy Research, a Beirut-based NGO, has put the death toll from the six-year-old conflict at more than 470,000.