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Fuel truck blast kills dozens in north Syrian border town


A fuel truck exploded in the busy centre of a rebel-held town near Syria’s border with Turkey on Saturday killing dozens of people and wounding dozens more.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 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.

Turkey’s privately owned Dogan news agency says a car bomb planted by Islamic State was responsible.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the militant group.

“A car bomb went off in the centre of the city near civilians. There are no fighters here, all of them are civilians, and until now there are about 40 dead and about 150 injured,” ambulance worker Hamza Alarid said, speaking at the scene.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news 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.

Syria’s nearly six-year war has created a patchwork of areas of control across the country, and Azaz is a major stronghold of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The FSA is an alliance of moderate rebel groups whose fighters have, with Turkish military support, pushed Islamic State militants out of the border area.

Victims of a deadly blast in Azaz have been taking to Turkey for treatment.

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