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Syria Direct: News Update 10-20-2013

* A car bomb exploded Sunday on the outskirts of […]

20 October 2013

NewsUpdateOct2013* A car bomb exploded Sunday on the outskirts of Hama resulting in casualties reports the Syrian State Television channel. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the incident, reporting that, “strong explosions shook the industrial area of the city of Hama, targeting the regime force’s checkpoint of the Makanina Agricultural building.”  The Turkish Al-Hurriyet Daily is reporting 31 have died in the explosions.

* 9 Lebanese citizens abducted 17 months ago by the armed opposition in northern Syria returned home Saturday in a prisoner exchange which included the release of two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Beirut two months ago. In an unconfirmed report, Lebanese security sources said the release was linked to the Syrian government’s release of 127 detained Syrians.

* UNHCR announced in a statement Friday that more than 800 Syrians, including children, have been arrested in Egypt since August as they tried to leave the country illegally. The organization has earlier documented the arrest and deportation of hundreds of Syrian refugees in Egypt, condemning the detention of children and separation of families.

* In five weeks of work in a hospital in northern Syria, British surgeon David Knott treated a number of pregnant women who had been deliberately targeted by sniper fire, the surgeon said in interviews with The Times of London and the BBC Saturday. “We heard that snipers win packs of cigarettes when they hit the largest number of targets,” said Dr. Knott, who returned to Britain from Syria last week.

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