OAN’s Abril Elfi
6:06 PM – Thursday, October 5, 2023
At least 100 people have been killed and around 240 others were injured in a drone attack that hit Homs, Syria during a military graduation ceremony.
According to Syria’s Minister of Health, Hassan Al-Ghabash, drones equipped with explosives attacked a military college graduation ceremony in the western Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, killing around 100 people, including women and children, and injuring hundreds more.
“In a preliminary toll, the terrorist act that targeted the graduation ceremony of students at the Military College in Homs led to the death of 80 martyrs, including 6 children, and the number of injured was 240,” Hassan Al-Ghobash said.
Syria’s military said in an earlier statement that as the ceremony was closing up, drones armed with explosives targeted the crowd of young officers and their families.
The military reportedly blamed the attack on terrorists “backed by known international forces” and stated that “it will respond with full force and decisiveness to these terrorist organizations, wherever they exist.”
No group has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. In an earlier statement, the defense ministry blamed “terrorist organizations supported by well known international parties.”
A man who was present during the fatal attack, who had helped set up decorations at the ceremony, said they don’t know where the explosives came from.
“After the ceremony, people went down to the courtyard and the explosives hit. We don’t know where it came from, and corpses littered the ground,” he said.
Footage provided to Reuters via the messaging app WhatsApp reportedly showed people lying in pools of blood in a vast courtyard. Some of the victims were reportedly still burning slowly, while others were fully on fire.
The death toll is expected to continue to rise.
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