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At Least 19 Killed in Syrian Explosion

At Least 19 Killed in Syrian Explosion

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility. Turkey's Dogan media organization said that the Islamic State group was responsible, while Syrian rebels also accused the militant group of being behind the attack.

Meanwhile to the east, opposition fighters backed by Turkey have been pushing back IS extremists.

Azaz is just 4 miles from the Turkish border and 20 miles north-west of Aleppo. Activists say its pre-war population of 30,000 has swelled. Al-Bab is one of the two targets of Euphrates Shield, with the other one being the town of Manbij controlled by YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"It hit the busiest part of the town", Alnajdi said, referring to the administrative part of town.

Abdulrahman said he has combed the rubble of nearby shops for bodies.




No group has yet said it carried out the bombing, which according to some reports may have killed as many as 60 people and injured many more. The death toll is expected to rise.

It said six rebels were among the 43 who died.

Video from the scene showed huge clouds of smoke rising from a street filled with debris and twisted metal, which bulldozers worked to clear. The court house and the security headquarters were reportedly damaged, as well as the Red Crescent and municipality offices.

After rebels and civilians were pushed out of Aleppo during the offensives, many relocated to Azaz. The U.K. -based activist group says the explosion was caused by a fuel tanker rigged with a bomb, which went off outside a courthouse in the rebel-held town on Syria's border with Turkey. They are 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.

The blast comes during a fragile nationwide ceasefire brokered by Russian Federation, an ally of the Syrian government, and Turkey, which backs rebel groups. It is set to pave the way for peace talks between Assad's government and the opposition in Kazakhstan later this month.

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