25 Nusra Front Members Killed in Syria

25 Nusra Front Members Killed in Syria25 Nusra Front Members Killed in Syria

An explosion at a mosque in Syria’s Idlib Province on Friday killed at least 25 members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The blast in the town of Ariha in northwestern Syria went off as members of the Nusra Front had reportedly gathered to break their Ramadan fast at the time, the group said. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, Reuters reported.

The UK-based monitoring group, which tracks the war, said the explosion in Salem Mosque in Ariha also killed a senior non-Syrian member of the extremist group.

Opposition-based social media websites had conflicting casualty figures with some saying more than 40 people were dead. No group announced responsibility for the blast, but supporters of Nusra Front blamed rival ultra hardline Islamic State militants who have fought the group on several frontlines in Syria. A coalition of rebel groups called Jaish Al-Fatah, in which Nusra Front is a major part of its composition, have controlled most of Idlib since the capture of the provincial capital in March.

Rebels had earlier claimed a number of cities in the province, including Idlib and Jisr al-Shughour.

The fall of Ariha left most of Idlib, bordering Turkey, in rebel hands. Nusra Front is among 13 militant groups that came together on Thursday to launch a massive assault on the northern city of Aleppo.