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Report: Blast at Syrian airbase kills 26 soldiers


By the Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria — A Syrian pro-government newspaper is reporting 26 soldiers, including seven officers, have been killed in an explosion blamed on a technical error in central Syria.

Al-Watan quoted a military official as describing Saturday’s explosion at the Shayrat airbase in the Homs province as severe.

The official news agency SANA reported an explosion Saturday at the base, saying it killed an undetermined number of soldiers. It said the blast was caused by a technical error while transporting ammunition.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked group that monitors the war, put the death toll at 31. It said the cause of the explosion was unclear.

The US targeted the airbase in 2017 following a chemical weapons attack on opposition areas that Washington blamed on Damascus.

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