The Islamic State (Isis) has claimed responsibility for a car bombing in northern Syria which killed at least 44 people and left more than 100 injured. The explosion hit the Kurdish-controlled town of Qamishli close to the Turkish border on Wednesday (27 July), state-run Syrian TV reported.

In a statement published by the Isis-linked Amaq news agency, the group claimed responsibility for the bombing, claiming it had struck a complex of Kurdish offices and that more than 100 people had been killed.

State-run Syrian TV said the bomb targeted buildings used by the Kurdish police and also hit a nearby government building. The attack was previously reported as a double-bombing but it is instead believed the first explosion caused a gas tank to explode, according to AFP.

Photographs of the scene showed plumes of smoke rising from buildings as injured children walked through the rubble and people searched for survivors.

Isis, which is fighting Kurdish fighters and their allies in Hasaka and Aleppo provinces, has launched bombing attacks on Qamishli in the past.

The US-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), made up predominantly of Kurdish militia, have been the main force fighting Isis in northern Syria over the past two years.

It is currently trying to capture the city of Manbij as part of a wider operation to secure the Syria-Turkey border. Efforts to enter the city centre have been painfully slow, with IS militants staging counterattacks and using mines and snipers to pin forces back.

The capture of Manbij would deliver a serious blow to IS forces. The terrorist group uses the city in a supply line between the Turkish border and the capital of the self-declared Islamic State, Raqqa.

Qamishli
Syrians gather at the site of a bomb attack in Syria's northeastern city of QamishliDelil Souleiman/ AFP