State media: Attack on bus in southern Syria kills 28

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DAMASCUS, Syria — An attack on a passenger bus in southern Syria on Wednesday killed 28 civilians and injured others, according to the Syrian state news agency.

The state news agency SANA didn’t say how the attack was carried out, but called it a terrorist attack on the bus travelling in the Kobajjep area in southeastern Deir el-Zour province.

The bus was travelling between the central Homs province and Deir el-Zour to the east. The report offered no further details.

The area was once controlled by Islamic State militants, who despite losing territorial control in Syria, are still active in the desert and rural areas of eastern and southern Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said attackers ambushed three buses after setting up a checkpoint along the road. The Observatory’s director, Rami Abdurrahman, said the attackers were believed to be IS militants who laid explosive devices on the road and then opened fire at the buses. He said the assault killed 30, all of them soldiers returning home for the holidays.

Syrian state media rarely reports military casualties.

The Associated Press