Beirut: Nine people, mostly civilians, were killed today in an explosion in the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria but the cause was not immediately clear, a war monitor said.

The blast left 26 more people wounded, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which relies on a network of sources inside the war-torn country. In recent months, several explosions have rocked Idlib province, which has witnessed infighting between competing hardline groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. The most prominent armed group is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which is led by Syria's former Al-Qaeda branch.

Syria's war has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.