A bomb blast in the Syrian city of Qamishli on Wednesday killed 48 people and left dozens more wounded. The attack is believed to be among the deadliest in the city for years, the British-based Syrian Obervatory for Human Rights said.
A large truck bomb was set off near the security headquarters of the Kurdish administration that controls most of Hasaka province in the northeast, said the Observatory.
The death toll is expected to rise because of the number of people seriously injured, added the Observatory. The official SANA news agency said at least 140 people were injured.
The attack was initially believed to be a double bombing, but sources in the city and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights subsequently said the initial attack caused a gas tank to detonate.
My god! Look at the devastation from this terrorist attack in Qamishli. My prayers are with the victims. pic.twitter.com/ezhmZ1GOG4
— Leith Abou Fadel (@leithfadel) July 27, 2016
State TV rolled footage from the scene of the blast, showing large-scale damage to buildings, vast amounts of rubble strewn across the road with plumes of smoke rising.
The explosion was so powerful that it shattered windows in shops in the nearby Turkish town of Nusaybin which is directly across the border from where the blast occurred. Two people were slightly hurt in Nusaybin, a witness said.
The attack was claimed by DAESH.
The assault against DAESH in the city of Manbij, near the Turkish border, has put it under pressure, cutting off all routes out of the city. Fighters from the US-backed alliance have recently made incremental advances as they try to flush out the remaining DAESH fighters in Manbij.
DAESH has previously targeted Qamishli and the provincial capital, Hasaka city with bombs. A suicide blast killed six members of the Kurdish internal security force, known as the Asayish, in April. In July, a suicide bomb killed at least 16 people in Hasaka.
Kurdish forces control much of Hasaka province, after capturing vast areas from the DAESH in 2015.