Amman (Jordan): A car bomb has ripped through Syria's largest city of Aleppo, killing at least 17 people and wounding 40 in one of the main battlegrounds of the country's civil war, state-run media said.

State-run TV aired footage of fire trucks trying to extinguish the blaze and rescue workers digging through mounds of rubble in Sunday. Aleppo's governor, Mohammed Wahid Akkad, was quoted by Syria's official news agency, SANA, as saying 17 dead were civilians.

The fight for Aleppo, a city of 3 million that was once a bastion of support for President Bashar Assad, is critical for both the regime and the opposition. Its fall would give the opposition a major strategic victory with a stronghold in the north near the Turkish border.

A rebel defeat, at the very least, would buy Assad more time. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. SANA blamed terrorists, the term the regime uses for rebels. Opposition activists could not immediately be reached comment.

(Agencies)

 

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