Dozens killed, wounded after car bomb hits Syria's Hama
The scene following a suicide car bombing in Salmiyeh, a town in the central Syrian province of Hama, on January 22, 2013 (SANA/AFP, Ho)
A car bomb hit the central Syrian government-held city of Hama on Sunday, causing multiple casualties, according to state television reports.
"A terrorist car bomb explosion went off near an agricultural vehicle company on the edge of Hama city," SANA said, according to Agence France Presse.
"Several people were killed or wounded," the report added.
The British-based NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the blast, AFP reported, adding that the group released a statement said: "A violent explosion shook the Sinaa highway in Hama city moments ago, followed by intense gunfire".
"According to initial reports, the blast targeted a checkpoint manned by regime troops near an agricultural vehicle company, and ambulances could be seen in the area," the Observatory added.
Following the outbreak of the uprising and protests against President Bashar Assad's regime in early 2011, Hama was the stage for some of Syria's largest demonstrations against the government.
In the summer of 2011, government security forces stormed the city, killing dozens of people, and have been in control of the central city ever since.
While several other Syrian cities have been engulfed by fighting, Hama has seen only sporadic violence in recent months, according to an AFP report.