Syria’s state-run news agency has raised the death toll from what it says was a twin bombing that struck a crowd in a predominantly Kurdish town in the country’s north to 44 killed.
The report says a truck loaded with large quantities of explosives blew up on Wednesday on the western edge of the town of Qamishli, followed by an explosives-packed motorcycle a few minutes later in the same area.
It says the blasts caused massive damage in the area and that rescue teams are working to recover victims from under the rubble.
Qamishli, near the Turkish border, is mainly controlled by Kurds but Syrian government forces are present and control the town’s airport.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The jihadist group, which is fighting against the Kurdish YPG militia and its allies in Hasaka and Aleppo provinces, has targeted Qamishli and the provincial capital, Hasaka city, in the past with bombing attacks.
One explosion was so powerful it shattered windows of shops in the Turkish town of Nusaybin directly across the border. Two people were slightly hurt in Nusaybin, a witness said.
A suicide blast killed six members of the Kurdish internal security force, known as the Asayish, in April. In July, an Islamic State suicide bomb killed at least 16 people in Hasaka.
The YPG captured large areas of territory from Islamic State in northeastern Syria last year and is involved in a US-backed offensive that has advanced against the jihadists further west near the Turkish border.
(with inputs from Reuters)