BEIRUT: A suicide bomber killed at least 16 people on Wednesday in an attack on Kurdish security forces in northeastern Syria claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, a monitor said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast in the city of Qamishli killed 10 members of the Kurdish forces, called the Asayish, and six civilians.
“A suicide bomber in a vehicle targeted the Asayish’s local headquarters in Qamishli,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the British-based Observatory.
IS claimed the attack in an online statement, saying a suicide bomber had used a “water tanker rigged with explosives to infiltrate an Asayish command base”.
Syrian Kurdish militia have been some of the most successful forces fighting IS in northern parts of the country.
The jihadist group has targeted Qamishli and other Kurdish bastions with suicide operations in the past.
Abdel Rahman described Wednesday’s explosion as “massive” and said at least 14 civilians had been wounded.
The charred wreckage of several vehicles was seen at the site of the blast in the industrial district of Qamishli, a majority-Kurdish city in Syria’s northeast Hasakeh province.
Syria’s state news agency SANA reported a toll of 15 people, but did not specify whether the dead included civilians. It said 50 people were wounded.