A bombing at a bus stop in central Syria has killed 54 workers of a nearby military factory, rebel spokesmen admitted today.
A minibus packed with explosives blew up on Wednesday in the village of al-Buraq where factory workers were waiting to go home after work. The dead included 11 women.
The factory makes military supplies but not weapons and no-one from the military was killed.
No-one has claimed responsibility for the blast which resembled others targeting buildings associated with Syria's state military and security services.
Some of the bombings have been claimed by an al-Qaida-linked group fighting alongside the rebels, Jabhat al-Nusra, which the US had designated as a terrorist organisation.
Meanwhile shelling continued in southern and eastern parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, including in the suburb of Moadamiyeh where six people were killed by shelling overnight.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces were attempting to retake sections of the Damascus ring road from rebels who had been trying to tighten their noose around the capital.
Rebel fighters broke through defensive lines two days ago, capturing parts of the road and entering the neighbourhood of Jobar, a mile from the main security installations sited in the heart of the city.
Government forces backed by air power have so far kept rebels away from the centre of Damascus.