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AMMAN (Reuters) - A car bomb exploded on Thursday in the centre of the Syrian town of Jableh in the coastal Mediterranean province of Latakia with reports of casualties, state television said.

State media said scores of cars were on fire and shops were also damaged by the blast in a bustling commercial part of the town that lies in President Bashar al Assad's minority Alawite sect's heartland.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Louise Ireland)