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Syria tunnel bomb: rebels detonate 60 tonnes of explosives under army base

Video footage of the blast shows the ground ballooning up

Heather Saul
Thursday 15 May 2014 19:18 BST

Rebels in Syria have detonated 60 tonnes of explosives packed underneath a large army base, blowing a hillside hundreds of metres into the air, an insurgent involved in the operation said on Thursday.

Footage provided by the commander of the base, which stretches over a large area of land, showed the ground balloon up before breaking into a cloud of earth that engulfs the area.

The death toll from the tunnel bomb is not yet known.

An Islamic Front commander said that his brigade dug a 850-metre tunnel underneath Wadi al-Deif base, which is surrounded by rebels but has remained inside government control for the entirety of the three-year-long civil war.

The commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he did not know how many government soldiers had been injured or killed in the attack, but said it would help rebels break into the base, which has been used for attacks in the surrounding province of Idlib.

"Another attack like this and we won't even need to move in to take the base," he told Reuters.

Earlier today at least 29 people were killed in an explosion near a border crossing between Syria and Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The blast occurred at a garage near the Bab al-Salameh border crossing in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo. The garage is used by passengers who come to or leave the crossing point, Rami Abdurrahman, the Observatory's chief said.

More than 150,000 people have died since March 2011, and hundreds of thousands of people have been wounded.

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