Bombing in northern Syria kills at least 44, ISIS claims responsibility
The blast was so strong it shattered glass, and injured 2 people in a nearby town
Two bomb blasts claimed by ISIS hit the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli near the Turkish border on Wednesday, killing at least 44 people and injuring 170 others, state television reported.
It said one of the bombs that hit the predominantly Kurdish town exploded near a security headquarters of the Kurdish administration that controls most of Hasaka province, where Qamishli is located.
Media reports said a truck loaded with large quantities of explosives blew up on the western edge of the town of Qamishli, followed by an explosives-packed motorcycle a few minutes later in the same area. The blasts caused massive damage in the area and rescue teams were working to recover victims from under the rubble, the Syrian state-run news agency, SANA, said.
The TV station showed footage purportedly from the scene of one blast, showing large-scale damage to buildings, vast amounts of rubble strewn across the road and plumes of smoke rising. It also showed people running away from a mushroom of grey smoke rising over the town, and others running amid wrecked or burnt cars.
One explosion was so powerful it shattered the windows of shops in the Turkish town of Nusaybin, directly across the border. Two people were slightly hurt in Nusaybin, a witness said.
Qamishli resident Suleiman Youssef, a writer, told The Associated Press by telephone that he heard the first explosion from few miles away. He said the blasts levelled several buildings to the ground and many people were trapped under the rubble.
"Most of the buildings at the scene of the explosion have been heavily damaged because of the strength of the blast," he said.
Similar ISIS attacks before
ISIS, 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.
A suicide blast killed six members of the Kurdish internal security force, known as the Asayish, in April. In July, an ISIS suicide bomb killed at least 16 people in Hasaka.
The YPG captured large areas of territory from ISIS in northeastern Syria last year and is involved in a U.S.-backed offensive that has advanced against the jihadists further west near the Turkish border.
with files from the Associated Press