BEIRUT (AP) — A car bomb exploded Tuesday in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq, killing at least five people, including a local rebel commander, opposition activists said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said blast struck the eastern province of Deir el-Zour near the offices of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and another group, Ahrar al-Sham, in the village of Shmeitiyeh.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said an Ahrar al-Sham commander in the area and an Islamic judge affiliated with the Nusra Front also were among those killed.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
The two groups have fought against a rival Islamic faction, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, in the oil-rich province since April. The rebel infighting has killed more than 640 people on both sides and uprooted at least 130,000 civilians from their homes.
The rebel-on-rebel violence also has weakened the opposition's ability to fight President Bashar Assad's forces, which over the past year regained much of the territory in and around Syria's major cities, including the capital, Damascus.
In a separate attack in Deir el-Zour, an Islamic State member detonated an explosive belt outside the home of a local rebel commander in the village of Huwayej, wounding him and killing two of his sons, the Observatory said.
Also Tuesday, the Observatory reported heavy clashes between the Islamic State and its rivals on the edge of the town of Basira in eastern Syria, as the jihadi fighters try to advance toward the nearby village of Shuheil.