Blast kills 28 rebel leaders in Syria

Damascus: At least 28 Syrian rebel leaders of a group were killed Tuesday when a powerful blast targetted their meeting place in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The slain rebels were leaders of the Ahrar al-Sham militant group. A booby-trapped car ripped through their meeting place in the town of Ram Hamdan in the countryside of Idlib, Xinhua reported citing the report.

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Other reports said the main leader of Ahrar al-Sham, Hassan Aboud, also known as Abu Abdullah al-Hamwi, was also killed in the deadly blast.

The opposition activists have so far stopped short of identifying the party behind the blast, even though it’s likely part of the rebel-on-rebel infighting that has raged in recent months of the crisis.

Ahrar al-Sham is a coalition of Islamist and Salafist units which formed into a brigade during the Syrian crisis to fight against the administration of President Bashar al-Assad. As of July 2013, the group had about 10,000 to 20,000 fighters, making it one of the most powerful units fighting against Assad.

The militant group operates under the umbrella of the Syrian Islamic Front, a coalition of six powerful Islamist movements.