December 31, 2015 / 2:03 AM / 2 years ago

Twin suicide bombs in northeast Syria kill or wound dozens - Kurds, monitoring group

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Residents inspect damage from a suicide bomb in Qamishli, Syria December 30, 2015.Rodi Said

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Twin suicide bombings hit two restaurants in a Kurdish-controlled city in northeastern Syria on Wednesday, killing or wounding dozens of people, a Kurdish official and a group monitoring the war said.

The explosions took place in Qamishli, near the Turkish border, the Kurdish YPG militia's Redur Xelil told Reuters. He said it had most likely been carried out by Islamic State, which the YPG is fighting in Syria's northeast, and that dozens were believed to have been killed or wounded.

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The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 16 people were killed and more than 22 wounded from the blasts in an area inhabited by Christians.

It said there had been a third explosion in the city, but gave no further details.

The YPG has been the most effective partner on the ground in Syria for the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting Islamic State. In October, it became part of the new U.S.-backed alliance, the Democratic Forces of Syria.

The alliance launched an offensive against Islamic State in the northeastern province of Hasaka that month, later forcing it out of a town near the Iraqi border while Kurdish forces in Iraq seized the town of Sinjar from the jihadist group.

Islamic State has carried out a number of attacks in Kurdish areas in recent weeks, including one that killed dozens of people earlier this month.

Qamishli is also in Hasaka province.

Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Andrew Hay

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