Blasts kill 14 prisoners in Syria

Blasts kill 14 prisoners in Syria

Bomb blasts killed 14 prisoners travelling in a security vehicle in northwest Syria on Saturday, the state news agency said, and troops fought rebels elsewhere as the Arab League weighed whether to keep monitors in place.

Syria’s SANA agency said a “terrorist” group had set off two explosions that also wounded 26 prisoners, as well as six police guards. It said the assailants had also attacked ambulances sent to the scene, on the road between the towns of Idlib and Ariha.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the 10-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, had earlier reported the attack in northwestern Idlib province.

It said army troops were clashing with soldiers who have deserted and joined an anti-Assad insurgency in the Jebel al-Zawiya region of Idlib, which is near the Turkish border.

Al Jazeera television said army troops and deserters were also battling in the northwestern city of Jisr al-Shughour.

The Arab League looks set to extend its monitoring mission in Syria, given the lack of any Arab or world consensus on how to halt bloodshed there, an Arab diplomatic source said.

Sudanese General Mohammed al-Dabi, head of the 165-strong monitoring team, was due in Cairo on Saturday to submit his report for a League committee on Syria to consider the next day.

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