Monday 26 September 2016

Isil suicide truck bombers kill 'at least 60' in Syria - Kurdish militia

Tom Perry in Beirut

Published 12/12/2015 | 02:30

A girl walks over debris at a site hit by one of three truck bombs, in the YPG-controlled town of Tel Tamer, Syria yesterday. The death toll from a triple truck bomb attack in a town in northeastern Syria yesterday had risen to 50 to 60 people.
A girl walks over debris at a site hit by one of three truck bombs, in the YPG-controlled town of Tel Tamer, Syria yesterday. The death toll from a triple truck bomb attack in a town in northeastern Syria yesterday had risen to 50 to 60 people.

A triple truck bomb attack carried out by Islamic State (Isil) in northeastern Syria has killed at least 60 people and wounded 80 others, a spokesman for the Kurdish militia that controls the area said yesterday.

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The town in the northeastern province of Hasaka is controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia, which has been battling Isil with the support of US-led air strikes.

Kurdish fighters have advanced in the last few weeks against Isil in Hasaka province, notably with the takeover of the town of al Houl by a US-backed rebel alliance that includes the YPG.

The three blasts, carried out by at least two suicide bombers, hit outside a hospital, at a market and in a residential area in the town of Tel Tamer late on Thursday.

"There is massive destruction in the town, and the number killed is between 50 and 60, all of them civilians," he said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gave an earlier death toll of at least 22 people in the attack, saying the number was likely to increase.

Casualties

Amaq News Agency, which supports Isil militants, said in a statement that the group had carried out the attack, targeting Kurdish "bases" in Tel Tamer with three suicide bombs.

The Observatory said one of the bombs exploded near a health centre and another near a vegetable market. It said there was "confirmed information" about casualties among the Kurdish internal security force known as the Asayish.

The YPG has been the most effective partner on the ground in Syria for the US-led coalition that is fighting Isil. In October, it became part of the new US-backed alliance, called the Democratic Forces of Syria.

Meanwhile, a woman has detonated an explosive vest at a checkpoint in Afghanistan, killing her three children and an officer who stopped their car, officials said.

The attack happened in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, according to Attaullah Khugyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

An Afghan security official said officers from the intelligence service stopped the car which was carrying the woman, her children and four men.

The woman and the children got out. The official said they could not speak the Afghan languages of Pashto and Dari and appeared to be speaking Russian. It is unclear what happened to the men in the car.

Elsewhere, France has suggested it will extend its military operation against jihadis to Libya, where extremists increasingly have a strong hold.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls yesterday called for International efforts to crush Isil to extend to Libya.

"We are at war, we have an enemy, Daesh, that we must fight and crush in Syria, in Iraq and soon in Libya too," Mr Valls said.

Threat

Speaking four weeks after Isil gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Paris, Mr Valls told France Inter radio the threat of further outrages remained "because we have hundreds, even thousands of young people who have succumbed to radicalisation".

French planes carried out surveillance flights over Libya last week. Libya has slipped into chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, which Isil has exploited.

The UN believes 2,000 to 3,000 fighters are operating there, including 1,500 in the coastal city of Sirte.

Tunisia reopened its border with Libya yesterday, 15 days after it shut the frontier following a suicide bombing in Tunis claimed by Isil, the interior ministry said. The attack, which killed 12 people, prompted Tunisian authorities to ramp up surveillance and security at its borders and reimpose a month-long state of emergency as they try to grapple with the increased threat emanating from lawless Libya.

Irish Independent

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