Blast in Syria’s Qamishli kills four: monitor

Men watch as a military convoy carrying US-made vehicles, bulldozers, and arms headed for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting in Raqqa, passes through the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018

Blast in Syria’s Qamishli kills four: monitor

BEIRUT: At least four people were killed on Sunday in a car bomb blast in Syria's northeastern Qamishli, a war monitor said, after months of calm in the Kurdish-majority city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said another three people were also wounded when "an explosion went off inside a car in the city's Al-Gharbi neighbourhood."
Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Observatory, could not confirm whether the casualties were civilians or combatants.
Syrian state news agency SANA also reported the blast, but gave the death toll as five people.
Qamishli is mostly under the control of Kurdish authorities, though Syrian government forces have a limited presence in the city's "security quarter".
It has been targeted with car bombs on multiple occasions during Syria's seven-year conflict, many of them claimed by Daesh.
But the city had been quiet for months before Sunday's blast.
In September, a motorcycle bomb killed a child and wounded seven people, in an attack that Kurdish security forces blamed on a pro-government militia.
Syria's uprising broke out in March 2011 with protests against the government.
Regime forces withdrew from the country's Kurdish-majority areas in 2012, paving the way for key Kurdish parties to set up a system of self-rule.
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Lebanon to continue repatriation of coronavirus-stranded citizens abroad

Updated 25 min 21 sec ago

Lebanon to continue repatriation of coronavirus-stranded citizens abroad

DUBAI: The Lebanese government will continue with its repatriation of stranded citizens from abroad because of tighter travel restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Flights scheduled for next Monday to bring back the Lebanese abroad were still on, according to Michel Najjar, the country’s minister of Public Works and Transportation, in a report by state news agency NNA.

The second stage of expats’ return would be in light of the first stage’s assessment, he said.

“We cannot repatriate all the Lebanese abroad; this is a massive issue considering the huge number of emigrants,” Najjar commented.

Two Middle East Airlines flights, one coming from Doha with 122 nationals on board and another from Frankfurt, landed on Thursday in Beirut as part of the repatriation process of Lebanese emigrants and students abroad.