ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – At least eight people, including members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were killed on Tuesday when separate explosions rocked the city of Raqqa, an incident which underlines the continued threat of Islamic State sleeper cells in northeastern Syria.
Four SDF fighters were killed after they gathered at the scene of a first explosion which was followed by a second, larger blast, Reuters reported.
Medical staff at Al-Raqqa Hospital said at least five civilians were also dead, and four others injured, including women and children, local media reported.
However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a war monitor group, reported a higher casualty count, claiming the explosions killed 13 people, including four members of the security forces.
“The death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical condition, as well as reports of further casualties,” a SOHR statement read.
According to SOHR, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in a booby-trapped vehicle in Raqqa’s al-Nour street caused the explosions.
It is unclear who is responsible for the attack.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, a suicide car bomb targeted US-led coalition forces in the town of Shaddadi in Syria’s Hasakah province with no human casualties and only material damage.
Despite the SDF and the coalition announcing the defeat of the extremist group’s so-called caliphate on March 23, Islamic State sleeper cell attacks are ongoing as security forces continue to detain militants in previously liberated territories.
On Monday, Raqqa’s Internal Security Forces reported that two explosives placed in the east of Tabqa, on Fayiz Mensur street, detonated at around 7 p.m.
A civilian lost his life in the explosion, while four others were injured, including a woman and a child, the security forces said.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany