Attack on Kurds in NE Syria leaves dozens wounded, dead

A twin bombing attack targeting Kurds celebrating their New Year on Friday killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in a northeast Syrian city, activist groups and a Kurdish official said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one of the attacks was carried out by a suicide bomber who belonged to the Islamic State group, and the other was a bomb planted in a nearby area. Twenty people were killed and dozens wounded, the group said.

The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said the bombings killed eight and wounded “many others.”

Ghalia Nehme, an official in Syria’s Kurdish region, said one of the attacks occurred in a main square in the city of Hassakeh. She did not have casualty figures but confirmed people were killed and wounded.

Kurdish authorities had announced earlier that no official celebrations will be held for Kurdish New Year, known as Nowruz, due to security concerns, Nehme said. People were celebrating Friday on their own, she said.

“God willing on the eve of this feast all the people will live in peace and there be no such massacres,” Nehme told The Associated Press by telephone from northern Syria.

Kurdish fighters have been fighting the Islamic State group for months in battles that have left hundreds dead.

Hassakeh province is predominantly Kurdish but the Islamic State holds parts of the region that borders Turkey and Iraq.