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Bomb blast kills one in Syrian border city, wounds several

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By Reuters

AMMAN – A car bomb in the rebel-held city of Azaz in northwest Syria killed one civilian on Thursday and wounded several bystanders, witnesses said, in the first act of its kind this year.

A rescue worker said an improvised explosive device in a vehicle had been planted near a local transport office in the city, which lies near the Turkish border. The city has been the site of several bombings in recent years.

Turkish-backed Arab rebels in Azaz and other parts of the enclave have blamed previous blasts on the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia which controls areas in nearby Tel Rifat and holds sway over swathes of Syria’s northeast.

Rebels say the blasts in markets and other public places killed scores of civilians last year, aiming to destabilise an area populated by more than 3 million Syrians who have fled government-controlled areas during Syria’s decade-long conflict.

The YPG has accused Turkey of killing civilians in drone strikes during a war of attrition waged by Ankara over YPG-held territory in north Syria.

Turkey considers the YPG an extension of its Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara designates a terrorist group.