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Syria Intelligence Officers Killed by Bomb, Observatory Says

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- At least eight members of Syrian military intelligence were killed by a car bomb near an army building in the southern town of Sa’sa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The attack late yesterday was carried out by the Al-Nusra Front, an Islamist group that has fought as part of the rebel movement seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, the U.K.-based Observatory, which supports the opposition, said in an e-mailed statement today.

Al-Nusra, classified as a terrorist group by the U.S., also killed and injured several Syrian military personnel in a separate car-bomb attack near a military checkpoint in the same area, the Observatory said.

Syrian rebels, mostly Sunni Muslims, have been fighting to oust Assad since March 2011, in a conflict that has left at least 60,000 people dead, according to the United Nations. The U.S., along with most of its European and Arab allies, has backed the opposition even as it labeled some of its elements as terrorists.

Rebel fighters stormed a prison in the northern region of Idlib, leading to the deaths of at least 10 fighters today, according to the Observatory. It said army planes bombarded Idlib as well as the southern town of Busra al-Harir, while there was heavy fighting in Al Hasaka and Hama provinces, and six people were killed by shelling in Daraa province in the south. Al Jazeera television reported that suburbs of Damascus came under heavy shelling.

Refugee Flows

About 6,400 Syrians have arrived in neighboring Jordan during the past 24 hours, the United Nations refugee agency reported, according to Agence France-Presse. There are more than 300,000 refugees in Jordan and hundreds of thousands more in Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said this week that his government has spent $500 million on Syrian refugees and has received a mere $4.5 million in donations from other countries to help.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ben Holland at bholland1@bloomberg.net

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