Fuel truck blast kills at least 43 in norther Syrian border town
An image grab taken from an AFPTV video released on Jan 7, shows people gathering amid the debris at the site of a car bomb attack in the rebel-held town of Azaz in northern Syria. / AFP Photo
fuel truck exploded in the busy center of a rebel-held town near
Syria's border with Turkey on Jan. 7, killing dozens of people and
wounding dozens more, several sources said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 43 people, mostly civilians, were killed when the tanker blew up in front of a courthouse in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, which is just across the border from Turkey's Kilis province.
Dozens more had severe injuries, said the Observatory, according to Reuters.
Six rebel fighters were among the dead, the Observatory said, according to AFP.
State-run Anadolu Agency cited a doctor in Azaz as saying at least 60 people had been killed and more than 50 wounded.
An Azaz resident who went to the local hospital told Reuters he had counted around 30 bodies laid out.
Azaz is a major stronghold of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).
FSA is an alliance of moderate rebel groups whose
fighters have, with Turkish military support, pushed The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants out of the border area, as part of Turkey's ongoing Euphrates Shield operation launched in August last year.
In a round-up of its military operations over the last 24 hours in support of the FSA rebels in northern Syria, the Turkish military said on Jan. 7, that 21 ISIL militants had been killed in clashes.
The explosion was heard across the border in Kilis, Doğan News Agency said.
The attack is not the first to hit the small town, though it is among the deadliest.
In November 2916, rebels said 25 people, including civilians and opposition fighters, were killed in a car bomb attack on a rebel headquarters.The rebels accused ISIL of being behind that attack.
In October, at least 17 people were killed in a car bomb attack on a rebel checkpoint, the Observatory said.