Syria: Dozens killed in a fuel truck blast

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A fuel truck bomb in a market in northern Syria killed at least 46 people including Turkish-backed rebel fighters, according to US officials and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The governor of the neighbouring Turkish border province of Hatay said a fuel tanker rigged with a hand grenade exploded at a crowded market place.

He and Turkey’s defence ministry blamed a Kurdish militia group, the YPG, which they see as linked to Kurdish militant groups inside Turkey.

50 people were wounded in the explosion in a crowded street of Afrin. Turkey’s defence ministry blamed the attack on the Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia. 

Photos released by the Syrian civil defence rescue workers, also known as the White Helmets, showed firefighters battling to douse flames amid gutted buildings and rescue workers carrying charred bodies away from the scene on makeshift stretchers.

The fuel tanker exploded at an open air market in the central Souk Ali area of Afrin on Monday afternoon, close to the local government’s offices, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group.

The market is usually full of shoppers in the hours before Muslims break their daily fasts for the holy month of Ramadan.

In January, at least seven people were killed in a car bombing in Azaz, another northern city held by pro-Turkey forces, according to the Observatory.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 380,000 people since 2011 and forced more than half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.

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