Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Afrin: Bomb blast kills three civilians in northern Syrian city

Turkish troops and allied rebels took the city from the Kurds last year

At least three people were killed in an explosion in the northern Syrian city of Afrin on Sunday, according to a British-based monitor of the Syrian war.

Nine other people, including fighters, were wounded in the blast, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu agency said the attack was a twin bombing. One explosive targeted a bus, while the second was placed in a rubbish container.

Pictures posted on social media networks showed a wrecked green bus. Gory videos purported to show corpses on the floor.

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It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Anadolu said it believes the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are responsible.

The town in north-western Syria was once a bastion for the Syrian Kurds who have fought on the ground for the US-led coalition against ISIS.

But Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies seized the enclave from the Kurds last year in a two-month air and ground offensive. The attack on Sunday comes on the first anniversary of the Turkish offensive on the Kurdish-majority region.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Afrin to drive out the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which it sees as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged an insurgency since 1984 on Turkish soil.

Updated: January 20, 2019 05:20 PM

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