A suicide bomber has detonated an explosive vest on a bus in Syria’s embattled Idlib province, near the Atmeh border crossing, killing at least 15 people and injuring 25 others, some critically.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the bus was carrying opposition fighters battling forces loyal to autocratic leader Bashar al Assad's regime.
Ercan Topaca, the Governor of Hatay, a Turkish province on the other side of the border from Idlib, told Turkey's Anadolu Agency that four people injured in the blast are being treated in Turkish hospitals.
He added that four other victims had died after they had been transferred to Turkish hospitals.
“Some of the injured might have been evacuated to hospitals around the Atmeh refugee camp on the Syrian side, but we don’t have any information about the death toll. The identification process of those who lost their lives in Hatay is yet to begin,” Topaca stated.
Syria's Idlib province, where Atmeh is located, is a major stronghold for Syrian opposition forces.
The attack in Idlib came a day after heavy air strikes by Russian and regime warplanes killed 26 people and injured 11 others in the province.
At least 327 people have also been killed in clashes in the neighbouring province of Aleppo. SOHR said 76 children and 41 women were among those killed in clashes over the last 15 days.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war which started when the Assad regime launched a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2011.
Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and around 10 million have been displaced across the war-battered country, UN estimates suggest.
According to the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the six-year conflict has caused more than 470,000 deaths in the country.