The Latest: Reports: Explosion hits northeast Syrian town

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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Latest on the war in Syria (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Syrian state media and activist collectives are reporting at least one explosion in the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli.

State news agency SANA, which has reporters in the town, gave no further details about Monday’s blast.

The Kurdish Hawar News agency ANHA also reported the blast without giving details.

The Rojava Information Center, an activist collective, said two motorcycles blew up in a market and a third exploded shortly afterward.

There was no immediate word on casualties.


11:55 a.m.

Syrian President Bashar Assad says his forces will soon retake control of the last major rebel stronghold in the country’s northwestern province of Idlib.

Assad said in an interview with Russia Today aired on Monday that they are now giving civilians some time to leave the area that is dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants.

Syrian troops launched a four-month offensive on the province earlier this year, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes and capturing the important town of Khan Sheikhoun and several other villages and towns.

A cease-fire stopped the government offensive on Idlib at the end of August but in recent days, opposition activists have reported shelling and airstrikes in the area.

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