UK & World News
Syria: Suicide Truck Bombing 'Kills 30'
A suicide bomber driving a truck packed with 1.5 tons of explosives has killed at least 30 people in Hama, Syrian state media reported.
The attacker blew himself up inside the vehicle at a government checkpoint on the edge of the city, the Sana agency said.
The explosion appeared to have set a nearby fuel truck on fire, increasing the damage and casualties, it added.
Sana blamed the assault on "terrorists", the term it uses to describe rebel forces trying to topple President Bashar al Assad.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra, or al Nusra Front, carried out the attack.
Meanwhile, a key international conference aimed at ending the civil war will be held in Geneva on November 23 and 24, according to Arab League chief Nabil el Araby.
The announcement came after talks with the Arab League-UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
The proposed conference will attempt to get Syria's rival sides to agree on a transitional government based on a plan adopted in the Swiss city in June 2012.
Syria's conflict has left over 100,000 people dead and forced two million to seek refuge abroad.
The fractured and squabbling opposition movement has criticised the conference plan, saying they were not consulted.
They said they could not accept any negotiations that allowed Mr Assad to remain as head of state in any transitional period.
The main Western-backed opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Coalition, is scheduled to hold a meeting on November 1 to decide whether or not to attend the conference.
One of the most prominent factions within the coalition, the Syrian National Council, has publicly opposed taking part in peace talks with the regime.
In the early months of the uprising that started in March 2011, Hama saw some of the largest demonstrations against his rule.
But in the summer of that year, security forces stormed the city, killing scores of people.
They have held a tight grip on the city ever since.
While several other Syrian cities have been engulfed by fighting, Hama has seen only sporadic violence in recent months.
However, the surrounding province has seen some major clashes between troops and rebels.