IS claims responsibility for attack on Syrian town; 22 die

BEIRUT (AP) — A huge car bombing struck a crowd in a predominantly Kurdish town in northern Syria on Wednesday, killing 22 people and wounding dozens more, state-run Syrian TV reported.

The TV said the car blew up on the western edge of the town of Qamishli, near the Turkish border. Qamishli is mainly controlled by Kurds but Syrian government forces are present and control the town’s airport.

The Islamic State group, in a statement published by the IS-linked Aamaq news agency, claimed responsibility for what it said was a truck bombing that struck a complex of Kurdish offices in Qamishli. The extremist group has carried out several bombings in Kurdish areas in Syria in the past.

The predominantly Kurdish U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces have been the main force fighting IS in northern Syria, capturing significant territory from the extremists over the past two years.

Wednesday’s explosion came as U.S.-backed Kurdish forces pressed ahead with their offensive on the IS-held town of Manbij also in northern Syria, further east.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion targeted a center of the local Kurdish police and a nearby government building.

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