Blast kills leader of Syrian Islamist group, other top figures

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An explosion killed the leader of one of Syria's most powerful Islamist insurgent groups Ahrar al-Sham on Tuesday, the group said, and an organization that monitors violence in the civil war said at least 28 of its commanders had died. Ahrar al-Sham is a hardline Islamist group and part of the Islamic Front alliance that has been in armed conflict with the Islamic State group which has seized swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. A statement posted on Ahrar al-Sham's official Twitter feed said the blast had hit a meeting in Idlib province in northwest Syria and confirmed Hassan Aboud, the group's leader, among at least 12 dead. "We don't know the cause of the explosion yet," Abu Mustafa al-Absi, a member of Ahrar al-Sham's politburo told Al-Jazeera TV in an interview.