DAMASCUS, Syria — The Syrian government released Saturday hundreds of detainees including some who backed the insurgency against President Bashar Assad on the eve of a major Muslim holiday.

Hours after the release, a car bomb exploded in a rebel-held northern town near the border with Turkey killing and wounding dozens of people, according to the opposition Civil Defense in Idlib and the Britain-based opposition monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The explosion at a market in Dana, killed at least 10 people, including children, and wounded 30, according to the Observatory. The blast came hours after an explosion in the town killed two people and wounded others.

Explosions in rebel-held parts of northern Syria are not uncommon and similar blasts have killed scores over the past months.

Justice Minister Hisham al-Shaar said that the 672 people released on Saturday included 91 women. He said of those released, 588 were freed in the capital Damascus, Assad’s seat of power.

Al-Shaar added that the release came in a bid to “sustain national reconciliations efforts and the homeland’s unity.”

The release comes on the eve of Eid el-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Syrian authorities usually release detainees on major holidays.

Tens of thousands of people have been detained since Syria’s crisis began in March 2011. The conflict has killed 400,000 people and displaced half the country’s population.

Syrian government forces have been gaining ground around the country under the cover of Russian airstrikes and now control the five largest cities. The push has led to so-called reconciliations in areas around Syria in which opposition fighters either surrendered in exchange for amnesty or moved to rebel-held areas in northern Syria.

Among those released in Damascus was 45-year-old Abdul-al-Rahman Ali who used to finance opposition fighters.

“I was wrong and every person makes mistakes. I have repented and returned to embrace my homeland,” he said.

In northern Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces released some 200 Islamic State members in Raqqa province at the request of tribal leaders, according to the Observatory.

The Observatory said all those released in the town of Tabqa and the city of Raqqa had no blood on their hands and had jobs with Islamic State such as preachers or employees in the extremist group civilian institutions.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been marching inside Raqqa since June 6, under the cover of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.