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Syrian general, 8 soldiers killed in tunnel blast: monitor

Beirut: A Syrian general and eight other soldiers were killed in a tunnel bomb outside Damascus, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel fighters planted explosives yesterday in a tunnel in the town of Harasta, northeast of Damascus.

“The explosion killed a Syrian officer at the rank of general, and eight other members of regime forces, and wounded several people,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Abdel Rahman said the death toll was likely to rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.

There was no immediate mention on Syrian state news agency SANA of the explosion.

More than 310,000 people have been killed in Syria since conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests that were met with a regime crackdown.

The violence has drawn in international players, as well as attracting jihadist groups like the so-called Islamic State group.