A large explosion has killed dozens of civilians in a Syrian border town, targeting an Islamic court building in a stronghold of the Free Syrian Army. Several sources said that a fuel truck had blown up at the scene.
At least 48 people were killed and many more injured after an explosion ripped through a busy market area in Azaz, a rebel-controlled town near the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Saturday. A doctor cited by Turkey's state-run Anadolu agency said that no fewer than 60 people died in the blast.
According to several sources, a massive tanker truck exploded in front of an Islamic court building in central Azaz in a presumed terror attack. Several of the surrounding vehicles caught fire. As firefighters were combating the flames, civil defense workers, rebels, and civilians were searching through the rubble.
While six of the victims have been identified as Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants, most of the casualties were reported to be civilians.
Repeated bombings blamed on IS
Azaz, in Aleppo province, has been a FSA stronghold since they wrestled it from "Islamic State" ("IS") control in a Turkey-backed surge several months ago. At least two car bomb blasts previously targeted the town, with FSA pointing the finger at "IS."
However, no group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest blast.
The "Islamic State" extremist militia and the Fatah al-Sham group, formerly known as the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, are not included in the current nationwide ceasefire in Syria.
dj/se (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)