AMMAN: An unclaimed explosion in Aleppo on Wednesday killed six residents and injured dozens more during a funeral for a Syrian soldier, sources inside the city tell Syria Direct.
Around noon local time, an explosion shook the Salah a-Din district of regime-held Aleppo city during “a funeral procession for a martyred” soldier as mourners moved through one of the area’s main streets on foot, a correspondent for the online, pro-regime Aleppo Net News who asked to referred to as Ahmed told Syria Direct on Wednesday.
The Salah a-Din district of Aleppo. Photo courtesy of Zaman al-Wasl.
Syrian state television reported that an “explosive device” killed six and injured 32 civilians. However, local correspondent Ahmad claimed that source of the explosion was a grenade detonated by a member of the funeral procession. Syria Direct could not independently verify the nature of the explosion.
At the time of publication, no group claimed responsibility for the attack.
In the immediate aftermath of the blast, local security forces fanned out to search the area, a correspondent for pro-regime New Aleppo News who requested anonymity told Syria Direct on Wednesday.
West Aleppo resident Abu Rami says he heard the sound of the explosion from his home near Aleppo University, just north of the Salah a-Din district.
The 37-year-old told Syria Direct that Wednesday's explosion had shaken the sense of security that he had just started to feel in his city since the end of major fighting there late last year.
An Aleppo resident receives treatment after Wednesday’s explosion. Photo courtesy of Aleppo News.
"Three months had passed without any explosions," Abu Rami said. "Our fear began to fade away."
Government forces regained full control over all of Aleppo in December 2016, when rebel forces surrendered the eastern half of the city after months of regime siege and a Russian-backed air campaign. Opposition fighters and an estimated 50,000 residents evacuated the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, the former industrial center in Syria’s north.
Thousands of residents are now gradually returning to the Aleppo as the Syrian regime attempts to rebuild and restore municipal services to the city’s battered eastern neighborhoods.