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Dozens killed in suicide attacks on Syrian security compounds

At least 30 people were killed in attacks on two security locations in the central Syrian city of Homs, officials reported.

At least six assailants attacked the security compounds in the al-Ghouta and al-Mahata districts of the city, clashing with security officers before at least two of them detonated explosive vests, according to state TV and state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV.

The two buildings are a mile apart.

The governor of Homs Province, Talal Barzani, said there were three blasts in total, killing more than 32 people. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the death toll was at least 42 security officers.

The Observatory said the branches of the General Security and the Military Intelligence services were targeted in the attacks. Ikhbariyah TV reported that Major Gen Hassan Daeboul, head of the local Military Intelligence branch, was killed.

The Syrian security forces run a vast intelligence network that is largely unaccountable to the traditional military and judicial hierarchies. The various branches are implicated in some of the more shadowy crimes associated with the six-year-long Syrian civil war, including mass arrests, torture, extra judicial killings and firing on protesters.

The human rights watchdog Amnesty International reported in February that between 5,000 and 13,000 people were killed in regular mass hangings in the military's Saydnaya prison in Damascus between 2011 and 2015, according to forensic research and interviews with security and judicial officials.

It said the detainees were sent to the prison from around the country by the state's four main security branches, including the Military Intelligence and General Security branches.

Homs is Syria's third-largest city and largely in the control of the government.

AP

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