Explosions rock Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, killing 10

June 1, 2019 GMT

BEIRUT (AP) — Two explosions killed 10 people in Raqqa Saturday in the latest attacks to hit the city in northern Syria, opposition activists reported.

The blasts occurred in two different locations in the city that was once the de facto capital of the Islamic State group. The attacks occurred after iftar, the meal after sunset that breaks daylong fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the first blast was a roadside bomb in the city center. It said the second blast was carried out by a suicide attacker driving a vehicle at a checkpoint of U.S.-backed fighters in the central Naim Square, killing five fighters and five civilians.

The Sound and Pictures activist collective that covers IS atrocities said 10 people were killed in the square. Another activist group also said that at least 10 people were killed in the infamous Naim Square — Arabic for “Paradise” — where Islamic State militants displayed hanged bodies or heads, during their rule of the city that began in January 2014 and lasted for nearly four years.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts but such suicide attacks have been carried out in the past by IS members.

Blasts have occurred since U.S.-baked fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces captured Raqqa in October 2017.