More than 20 people including at least 10 children were killed in Syria on Wednesday (October 1) after a twin car bombing outside a school.
The perpetrators, set the first device to explode as the children were leaving the school, then the second went off as parents were frantically making their way through the rubble.
The blasts occurred outside the Ekremah al-Makhzoumi elementary school in a government-controlled area of Homs dominated by minority Alawites, the Shiite sect to which President Bashar Assad’s family belongs.
A local official, who did not want to be identified, said as well as those killed more than 50 others were injured in the attack.
These figures have been corroborated by state run media outlet SANA and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights, although they did not indicate how many children were among the casualties.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the bombings.
With the civil war in Syria now in its fourth year both sides have been accused of committing atrocities and innocent civilians have inevitably found themselves caught up in the fighting.
This, however, marks a very rare occasion where children appear to have been the main target of an attack.
In August 2014 the UN put the number of people killed during the conflict at over 191,000.