Car bomb kills dozens in northern city of Azaz

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 7 January 2017 saa 07:33
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At least 43 people killed and several others wounded in northern stronghold of Turkish-based Syrian rebels.

At least 43 people have been reported killed after a car bomb struck Syria’s northwestern city of Azaz, according to a monitor group.

Dozens were also wounded in Saturday’s attack, which took place in front of a court, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.

The group said the toll was likely to rise.

The attack was the latest in a string of bombings to hit Azaz, a city located near the border with Turkey, 16km south of the Turkish city of Kilis.

The area is a stronghold of the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels involved in a major operation aimed at clearing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group from the border region.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

But ISIL has frequently targeted rebel factions with bombings, including an attack in November that killed 25 civilians and opposition fighters in a car bomb on a rebel headquarters.

At last 20 people were also killed in a separate car bomb attack in October.

The blast comes as a fragile ceasefire is being observed across much of Syria.

The truce negotiated by government ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey does not include ISIL or the former al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front.

More than 310,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011.