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Deadly Car Bombing Hits Government-Held Town In Syria

Syrians gather at the site of a car-bomb explosion in Syria's coastal city of Jableh on January 5.

A car bombing in a government-held coastal town in Syria has killed at least nine people, according to state television.

The blast in Jableh in Latakia Province also wounded 15 people on January 5.

State media also said scores of cars were on fire and shops were damaged by the blast in a bustling commercial part of the town, which lies in the heartland of President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite sect.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the bombing -- the first major incident since a cease-fire brokered by Turkey and Russia came into force last week.

The truce has largely held, with sporadic violence limited to a valley near the capital, Damascus.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP