Suicide bomber kills two in Syria regime stronghold: State media

DAMASCUS (AFP) - A suicide bomb attack near a mosque killed at least two people and wounded another four in the regime stronghold of Latakia in northwestern Syria on Thursday, state media said.

“A terrorist attack hit near the Khulafa al-Rashideen mosque in the Daatur district of Latakia as people emerged from afternoon prayers,” state television said.

Official news agency Sana quoted a senior police source as saying two people were killed and four wounded when the attacker blew himself up while riding his motorcycle in the coastal city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor that relies on a wide network of sources on the ground for its information, said three people had been killed in the attack.

Last month, bombings claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in the nearby seaside cities of Jableh and Tartus killed at least 170 people.

ISIS is not known to have a significant presence in Syria’s coastal provinces, where its Islamic militant rival, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, is much more prominent.

But ISIS, notorious for using deadly sleeper cells to attack its enemies, suggested the creation of a “Wilayat al-Sahel” or Islamic province for the coastal area.

At least 280,000 people have been killed and millions displaced from their homes since the war started with the brutal repression of anti-regime protests in 2011.