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Car bomb strikes Syrian city of Homs, killing 1

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BEIRUT (AP) — A car bomb exploded Tuesday in the central Syrian city of Homs, killing one person and wounding at least 14 in the latest blast to hit the city in recent weeks, Syrian media and an activist group said.

State news agency SANA said the car bomb exploded near a candy shop in the pro-government neighborhood of Wadi Dahab, killing one person and wounding 23. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the blast came from a car bomb in Wadi Dahab, saying it killed one woman and wounded 14.

Several car bombs have exploded in Homs over the past few months, killing and wounding dozens of people. Wadi Dahab is home mostly to Alawites, members of the minority sect of President Bashar Assad.

An explosion in Wadi Dahab on June 12 killed seven people and wounded 25.

Also Tuesday, Syria's Foreign Ministry criticized the European Union's decision to place sanctions on 12 ministers of the Syrian government because of their responsibility "for serious human rights violations."

The ministry said in a statement that the EU's decision comes at a time when the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is carrying out "terrorist attacks" in Iraq and Syria. It said that "confirms the European Union's support to these terrorist organizations that are committing the ugliest crimes against Syrians."

The EU said Monday the 12 ministers will be banned from traveling to the 28-nation bloc and will see any assets held there frozen. The ministers' names were not released.

The Syrian statement said the EU decision is not only "a flagrant violation of international laws but forms the peak of political hypocrisy."

Syria's conflict began in March 2011 with largely peaceful protests against Assad's rule but escalated into an insurgency and civil war with sectarian overtones.

Opposition activists say more than 160,000 people have been killed, nearly a third of them civilians.

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