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24 dead in Syria

Coordinated car bombs kill 24 in northwest Syria

A suicide bomber blew himself up alongside a minivan carrying foreigners on a major highway leading to the international airport in the Afghan capital, police said, killing at least 10 people, including nine foreigners. Picture: AFP.

BEIRUT - Three car bombs exploded within minutes of each other in northwest Syria on Wednesday, killing at least two dozen people in a coordinated assault on government positions, a monitoring group said.

Fighting has spread throughout much of Syria and upended civilian life in many areas as rebels have pushed to uproot President Bashar al-Assad's better-equipped forces and tip the balance of the 22-month-old conflict.

The World Food Programme said Syria's government had authorised it to step up food aid to some 2.5 million people going hungry, but did not say when it would be able to reach them all.

In the meantime, the war shows no signs of abating.

Car bombs at government buildings and a checkpoint in Idlib province killed some members of government forces - said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group.

"The car bombs exploded within minutes of each other. It seems they were coordinated," the Observatory's director, Rami Abdelrahman, said.

State news agency SANA said 22 people were killed in Idlib city when two car bombs exploded and said two other bombs were defused on a main road leading to Idlib.

Reuters cannot independently verify reports from inside Syria due to government restrictions on independent media.

Insurgents have often used bomb attacks to try to break a stalemate with government forces, who have far superior firepower including warplanes and ballistic missiles.