BEIRUT (Reuters) - Eight members of Syria’s military intelligence were killed by an Islamist militant car bomb on Thursday night near the southern frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, opposition activists and a violence monitoring group said on Friday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bomb was planted by Al-Nusra Front, a rebel unit fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad that the United States has labelled a terrorist group.
“We think the blast might have killed a colonel who has been leading the fight against rebels in the area,” Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Britain-based Observatory said. The building targeted is in the town of Saasa, 14 miles (23 km) from the frontier with the Golan Heights, he said.
He added that death toll was likely to rise as several security personnel were in a critical condition.
Syrian rebels have been battling Assad’s army for months in towns inside and adjacent to the Area of Separation between Israel and Syria, along the disengagement line from the 1973 war.
State-run Israel Radio aired what it said was an interview with an unnamed man from Saasa saying the explosion was close to Israel. “I heard an explosion. I did not see it, I heard it. It was a very large explosion,” he said.
Reporting by Oliver Holmes and Reuters TV in Beirut and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Editing by Alison Williams