The Latest: Bomb kills 8 in Syria, IS claims attack

The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Syrian state media and an opposition monitoring group say an explosion has ripped through a van near the central city of Homs, killing at least eight people.

The Islamic State group claimed Tuesday's attack in Akarma, a government stronghold south of Homs.

IS says it targeted a bus carrying Syrian soldiers, but the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said those killed were civilians, including six women.

Syrian state TV has aired images of the van's charred body, as well as damaged vehicles nearby. State news agency SANA says eight people were killed and 18 wounded.

Homs, Syria's third largest city, is frequently hit by bombs. The city was known as the "capital of the revolution" following the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad, but is now under government control.


9 a.m.

Syria's state news agency says Syrian air defense has shot down three Israeli missiles that were targeting a military post near the capital, Damascus.

SANA says the attack occurred early on Tuesday but hasn't said whether there were casualties.

The attack comes three days after Syria said Israel fired several surface-to-surface missiles at a military post near Damascus, causing material damage but no casualties.

There was no Israeli comment on the incident.

The opposition's Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack was an Israeli airstrike on the Damascus suburb of Jamraya, which is home to a government research center.

Israel has carried out a number of airstrikes against suspected arms shipments believed to be bound for Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group, which is fighting alongside Syrian government forces.