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Blast at Syria-Turkey border kills 20 rebels – monitor

Agence France-Presse
Blast at Syria-Turkey border kills 20 rebels – monitor
Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency confirms the blast left 20 people dead at Atme, adding that it took place during a 'change of guard' among Syrian rebels in the area

BEIRUT, Lebanon – At least 20 Syrian rebels were killed in a blast at a border crossing with Turkey on Thursday, October 6, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based monitoring group said it was unclear what caused the blast at the Atme crossing between Turkey and the northern Syrian province of Idlib, adding that around 20 people had also been wounded.

Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency confirmed the blast left 20 people dead at Atme, adding that it took place during a “change of guard” among Syrian rebels in the area.

The ISIS-linked Amaq news agency reported the blast, saying it was a car bomb, without carrying any formal claim of responsibility.

Rebel fighters have been targeted at the crossing before. The Islamic State (ISIS) group claimed responsibility for a mid-August suicide attack there that killed at least 32.

The rebels killed on Thursday were among those participating in Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in neighboring Aleppo province.

Ankara began the unprecedented cross-border operation on August 24, saying it was targeting both ISIS and the Kurdish YPG militia which Turkey considers a “terrorist” group.

The operation has so far captured the ISIS stronghold of Jarabulus and is pushing towards the jihadist-held towns of Dabiq and Al-Bab.

Dabiq holds symbolic importance for ISIS because of a Sunni prophecy that states it will be the site of an end-of-times battle between Christian forces and Muslims. – Rappler.com

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