Five Syrian soldiers killed in desert bus attack

Twenty also wounded during incident in government-controlled area, says state news agency Sana

Militants attacked a bus carrying soldiers on a desert road in central Syria, killing five troops and wounding 20, state media reported. Getty images
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Five soldiers travelling by bus have been killed by militants on a desert road in central Syria, state media reported on Monday.

Twenty were wounded in the attack on Sunday night in a government-controlled area, according to state news agency Sana.

The militants launched rockets at the bus as it travelled through the Palmyra desert, an unnamed official said in the report. The rockets were followed by fire from an anti-aircraft gun.

The official blamed ISIS militants who are active in southern and central Syria despite losing territorial control in the country in 2019.

A conflicting report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said nine soldiers and members of government-allied militias were killed, and 15 wounded.

Sana said attacks on the road linking central Syria to the east are common, and that US troops deployed there are facilitating the attacks.

President Bashar Al Assad’s government has repeatedly levelled such accusations against US and coalition troops based at Al Tanf base. US soldiers have maintained a limited presence in Syria to train and work with Kurdish-led forces and opposition fighters in counterterrorism efforts.

Updated: January 04, 2022, 2:57 AM