Fuel truck blast kills dozens in Syrian town near Turkish border

Azaz is a major stronghold of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), an alliance of moderate rebel groups. In photo: People gathering at the site of an explosion in Azaz on January 7, 2017. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Beirut, Lebanon Jan 07, 2017, 12.43 PM (IST)

Dozens were killed and wounded in a fuel truck explosion in the rebel-held town of Azaz near Syria's border with Turkey on Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the death of at least 43 people, mostly civilians. 

An Azaz resident who went to the local hospital told Reuters he had counted around 30 bodies laid out.

A doctor in Azaz said at least 60 people had died and more than 50 injured, Turkish state-run Andalou reported.

The explosion near a government building was believed to be caused by a car bomb.

The explosion was heard in the Turkish town of Kilis, Dogan news agency reported. The agency added that Kilis hospital was making preparations to receive casualties. Dogan reported an unnamed source saying the Islamic State (IS) was responsible for the attack.

There was no claim of responsibility from the IS group.

Andalou said Kilis hospital had received 23 wounded.

Azaz is a major stronghold of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), an alliance of moderate rebel groups whose fighters have, with Turkish military support, pushed Islamic State militants out of the border area, according to news agency Reuters.

(With inputs from Reuters)