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Bomb blast kills 25 in northern Syria

AAP logoAAP 6/10/2016

A bomb claimed by Islamic State at a Syria-Turkey border crossing has killed at least 25 people, most of them foreign-backed Syrian rebels, and wounded dozens more .

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group put the death toll at least 21.

The attack targeted rebels from factions which have been battling the jihadist group with Turkish military support along another stretch of border further to the northeast, witnesses and the Observatory said.

It took place on the Syrian side of the Atmeh crossing, west of Aleppo. A photo sent by a witness in the area, purportedly of its aftermath, showed bloodied corpses lying on the ground.

Islamic State claimed the attack in an online statement.

The witness said most of the rebels were from the Failaq al-Sham group, which has been fighting alongside other Turkish-backed factions in Ankara's offensive, dubbed "Euphrates Shield".

Among the dead from the Atmeh blast were the head of the top civil judicial body in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Sheikh Khaled al-Sayyed, and a judge who worked with him, a witness and a rebel official said.

Syria's Idlib province, where Atmeh is located, is a bastion of the Turkey-backed opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's rule. A multi-sided civil war has raged in Syria for more than five years.

Islamic State is fighting against all sides, including the Syrian government, foreign-backed rebels and other US-backed fighters.

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