The driver of a train was killed and 14 passengers were injured after a train derailed and caught fire in central Syria, 23rd July 2011. Syrian officials believe that the derailment was caused by saboteurs tearing out part of the tracks.
Syrian authorities quickly seized the opportunity to blame this incident on the uprising against president Bashar al-Assad. They claimed that criminals were taking advantage of the demonstrations to commit terrorist attacks on innocent people. There is no evidence to back these claims.
The Syrian government blamed the unrest on terrorists and foreign extremists. Ghassan Mustafa Abdul-Aal, the governor of the flashpoint city of Homs said that this was a, "clear message" to everyone who says the anti-Assad protest movement is peaceful. The crackdown to crush the revolt has lead to the deaths of 1,600 civilians since protests erupted in March.