Roadside Bomb In Southwestern Syria Kills 7 Children And Wounds 2 Others

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A roadside bomb detonated Saturday in southwestern Syria, killing at least seven children, in an area where dozens of incidents have already claimed about 100 lives in 2024, state media and a war monitor reported.

It remains unclear who planted the bomb in the northern countryside of conflict-stricken Daraa province, which lies between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Russian-backed Syrian government forces and their allies captured the city and province of Daraa from opposition forces in 2018.

Syrian state news agency SANA, citing an unnamed police official in Daraa, blamed militant groups, which are still active in the area.

But Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights accused a pro-government militia of planting the bomb in an assassination attempt, without giving further details. It says at least eight children were killed.

SANA reported two other injuries in the explosion.

Daraa city was once known as the cradle of the Syrian uprising in 2011 that spiraled into all-out war, now in its 14th year.

In 2018, after Daraa was retaken by the government and its allies, Moscow mediated a reconciliation agreement with rebel groups that left them in charge of security in some areas, under Russian supervision.

The unique reconciliation effort was a way for Moscow to alleviate concerns from Israel of Iran-backed militias approaching its borders and Jordan, which has a key border crossing nearby.

However, an armed insurgency has continued.

The Observatory says the bombing is the 83rd security incident in Daraa they had documented in 2024 thus far, which has led to the deaths of 100 people.

Chehayeb reported from Beirut.