Suicide Car Bomb Strikes Syrian Kurdish-Area

Posted September 30th, 2012 at 11:55 am (UTC-5)
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A suicide car bomb exploded in the northern Syrian city of Qamishli Sunday, in the first such attack in the country's Kurdish region which has been kept out of the conflict between opposition rebels and the government.

Syrian state television said the afternoon blast killed at least four people and wounded scores of others.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombing killed eight members of the security forces and that the attack targeted their headquarters in the city.

VOA cannot confirm events on the ground in Syria because the government severely restricts access for international journalists.

The attack came hours after activists said overnight fighting between rebels and government forces killed at least five people in the embattled northern city of Aleppo, the country's commercial capital and largest population center.

On Saturday, a fire sparked by battles between the two sides destroyed large parts of Aleppo's historic, centuries-old covered marketplace. The Souk al-Madina is the largest of its kind in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site that traces its history back to the 14th century.

The souk was one of the best-preserved bazaars in the Middle East.

It is not immediately clear how the fire in the market started but activists accused government forces of using incendiary bullets to attack rebels who had taken up positions there after launching a new offensive in the city on Thursday. They said they were working to try to document the scale of the damage, which is estimated to cost millions of dollars to repair.

UNESCO believes that five of Syria's six world heritage sites have already been damaged.

The Syrian Observatory said violence across Syria killed at least 160 people Saturday, including 89 civilians.