DAMASCUS: At least two suicide bombers detonated explosive belts in Syria’s central Hama city on Monday, leaving two people dead and others wounded, state media reported.
Citing a police source inside the city, state news agency SANA said the attacks hit Assi Square in the city centre about 15 minutes apart.
Hama governor Ghassan Khalaf told Syrian state television that the attack killed two people and wounded 12 others.
Monday’s blasts came as a coalition of rebels and jihadists edge closer to government-controlled Hama city, which has remained relatively insulated from the brutal violence of Syria’s five-year war.
In August 2013, a car bomb in the city killed Hama’s former governor, and another blast two months later left more than 30 people dead.
In the first months of Syria’s uprising, which broke out in March 2011, Hama saw some of the largest demonstrations against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
But later that year security forces stormed the city, killing scores of people. They have held a tight grip on the city ever since.
While the city has remained calm, the surrounding province has seen some major clashes between government troops, rebels, and jihadists.
The Islamic State group has a presence in the province’s northeast, while an alliance of opposition fighters and extremist groups has battled regime forces northwest of the provincial capital.