BEIRUT: A bombing at a bus stop near a military factory in central Syria this week killed 54 people, all civilian workers at the plant, an activist group said on Friday.
Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion took place on Wednesday in the village of Al Buraq, near the central city of Hama.
The area is government-controlled, which is why reports on the blast were slow to emerge, he said.
A mini-bus packed with explosives blew up near a bus stop where factory workers were waiting to go home after work, said Abdul-Rahman.
The dead included 11 women.
He said the factory makes military supplies, but not weapons.
“These people work for the Ministry of Defence, but they are all civilians,” he said “There was no one from the military” killed in the blast.
Syria’s state news agency reported the explosion on Wednesday evening, saying “terrorists” detonated a car bomb near a factory.
It did not say what the factory produced or specify the number of dead and wounded.
The regime refers to rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad’s government as terrorists. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, which resembled others in recent months that appeared to target buildings associated with Syria’s military and security services.
Some of the bombings have been claimed by an Al Qaeda-linked group fighting alongside the rebels, Jabhat Al Nusra, which the US had designated as a terrorist organisation.