BEIRUT, Lebanon — An explosion in a residential building thought to used to store weapons and ammunition in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib Province killed at least 39 people, including 12 children, on Sunday, a monitoring group said.
The explosion happened in the town of Sarmada, which is near the border with Turkey and north of the provincial capital, Idlib, said the group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict from Britain with the aid of a network of contacts in Syria.
Syrian civilians, displaced during the country’s seven-year-long war, were living in the building, which was also used by an arms dealer, the Observatory said.
The Syrian White Helmets, a group of rescue workers established in rebel-held areas of the country, also said on Twitter that 36 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the explosion, and that so far 10 people had been pulled alive from the rubble after the dawn explosion.
They said the cause of the blast, which brought down the whole multistory building block, was unknown.
Idlib Province is in one of the last areas of territory still held by rebels opposed to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.