Car bombs kill 12 in Turkish-held north Syria

AZAZ, SYRIA (AFP) – Car bombs killed at least 12 people, including seven civilians, in two separate incidents in Turkish-held northern Syria on Sunday, a monitoring group said.

The first attack near a cultural centre in the town of Azaz killed seven civilians, including a young girl, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in an updated toll.

An AFP reporter at the scene saw a mangled car ablaze, sending black smoke billowing into the sky.

A man rushed away from the site of the blast, carrying what appeared to be a child wrapped in a bloodied cloth.

The Observatory said around 30 people were also wounded in the attack.

In the second incident, a car bomb targetted a checkpoint manned by pro-Ankara rebels near the town of Al-Bab, killing five fighters, the Observatory added.

Such bombings regularly hit areas of northern Syria held by Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies.

They are usually not claimed, although Turkey routinely blames Kurdish “terrorists” linked to its outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

On Saturday, explosives planted in another vehicle claimed the lives of eight civilians in the city of Afrin, which Turkish forces and their proxies seized from Kurdish forces in 2018.