Explosion in Afrin city center kills three

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Afrin’s city center on Tuesday evening was hit by an explosion killing at least three civilians. 

According to Kurdistan 24 sources, last night at 9:30 pm on Rajo Street, near the Al-Harem Company Street, a roadside bomb triggered an explosion. The blast occurred on the first day of Eid al-Adha.

Local Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported that the bomb was placed in a trash container and resulted in the loss of three civilians so far. The number of wounded has not yet been determined.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), however, the bomb injured many but confirmed the death of only one person thus far.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.

This is not the first explosion targeting Afrin following the take-over of the Kurdish enclave by Turkey and its Islamist rebel allies in March.

On 27 June, a twin bombing in Afrin’s city centre killed nine people, injuring several others.

Turkey and its Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels began a military campaign on Jan. 20 against the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), then in control of Afrin, located in Syria’s northwestern region.

After months of bombardment, which killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands more, the enclave was eventually overrun by the Turkish army and FSA forces on March 18.

Since then, Afrin’s civilians have been victims of several human rights’ violations committed by the Turkish-backed groups and witnessed infighting between the several factions backed by Turkey.

On Tuesday, clashes erupted between the military police and Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah, another militia group, after the police forces attempted to retake a house occupied by the Islamist armed group.

Ilham Ahmed, the co-head of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), told Kurdistan 24 that Turkish-backed militants continue to carry out human rights abuses.

“There are a lot of violations like cutting trees, burning forests, destroying villages, kidnapping people, and even rapes.”

Until now, the world has not paid enough attention to the people of Afrin’s situation, unlike in the city of Daraa that was captured by the Syrian government in July, she argued.

Although the Kurds lost Afrin to Turkey, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have repeatedly claimed they would continue their resistance, targeting rebel forces backed and settled by Turkey in the former Kurdish-held enclave.

Editing by Nadia Riva