Suicide bomber kills 16 in Syria's Hasakah

Suicide bomber kills 16 in Syria's Hasakah
2 min read
05 July, 2016
An Islamic State suicide bomber riding a motorcycle killed dozens when he detonated an explosive outside a bakery in Syria's Hasakah city on Tuesday, officials said.
Kurdish YPG forces control most of Hasakah province [Getty]
Dozens were killed and wounded when an Islamic State suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in a Kurdish-populated district in Syria's Hasakah city, an official said.

The bomber was on a motorcycle when he attacked a crowd outside a bakery.

"A suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up in the Salihiah neighbourhood of Hasakah city," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding that 15 of the wounded were in critical condition.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack which it claimed targeted Kurdish forces.

Kurdish police put the death toll at 16 earlier.

Nearly all of Hasakah province is controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), who have declared an autonomous region across the mainly Kurdish northern areas they hold.

The YPG is regarded by the Pentagon as the most effective fighting force against IS on the ground in Syria.

Meanwhile, fighting between Islamic State militants and a Kurdish-Arab alliance troops has forced 13,000 residents to flee the IS-bastion city of Manbij.

"The fleeing increased after the Syrian Democratic Force [SDF] besieged Manbij" on June 10, the head of the Syrian Observatory said.

"Hundreds of people fled a southern district of the town where there have been fierce clashes in recent days".

The US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance seized a key road junction and grain silos overlooking the city last week, pushing further into the Islamic State group stronghold.

The city lies close to the border with Turkey and is a key staging post on the extremists' supply line to areas under its control in eastern Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

The militants took an estimated 900 Kurdish civilians hostage in areas under their control west of the city, according to the Observatory and Kurdish officials.

Manbij lies in the eastern plains of Aleppo province, which has become a battleground between an array of competing armed groups, including al-Qaeda, rebels and government forces, as well as the SDF and the IS group.