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Aug 19, 7:57 AM EDT

Car bomb kills 2 in Syrian government stronghold


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BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say a car bomb has killed two people in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar Assad's government.

The pro-government Latakia News Network Facebook page says the car bomb was detonated at a checkpoint Saturday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the attack.

The government has sought to present the country as slowly returning to normalcy after six years of war. It held a premier trade fair in the capital, Damascus, last week for the first time since 2011.

But fighting is still underway in several parts of the country, and the attack in Latakia, which has been firmly under government control throughout the conflict, highlighted the lingering instability.

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