At least 20 soldiers are reported to have been killed in Syria in two car bomb attacks in Deraa. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says there were two explosions a few minutes apart in the garden behind an officers’ club. The second blast caused the casualties, it added. Syrian state TV reported two car bombs and civilian victims but made no mention of a military target. It is not known who was behind the attacks, but Islamist groups have become increasingly involved in the struggle to oust President Assad’s government. The main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, has chosen a new leader. He is George Sabra, a 65-year-old Christian and former communist. But the SNC still has not backed a possible merger of the various opposition factions, currently meeting in Doha, under one body. They are under pressure to agree on a structure that could be recognised internationally.