BEIRUT, LEBANON: A suicide bomber killed at least 22 people Monday in an attack targeting a party in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakeh, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and medics said.
“A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a hall in Tall Tawil village during the wedding of a member of the Syrian Democratic Forces, killing at least 22 civilians,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The SDF is an Arab-Kurdish coalition battling jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group in northern Syria.
A witness named Ahmad, who was wounded in the head in the blast, described the moment the bomber struck.
“As the bride and groom were exchanging their vows I saw a man wearing a thick black jacket pass beside me,” he said.
“I thought he looked strange and a few seconds later there was an enormous explosion.
“People had fallen on the ground and I saw bodies torn to bits.”
The Observatory and local Kurdish officials initially said the groom was among the dead, but one of his relatives told AFP that both bride and groom were safe and well.
A hospital source in Hasakeh city told AFP there were “more than 20 dead and dozens wounded”.
The AFP correspondent saw many wounded people, some with bloodied bandages on their heads.
A source in the Asayesh security forces in the self-administered Kurdish territories also said a suicide bomber had blown himself up in the wedding hall a few kilometres (miles) north of Hasakeh.
IS said in a statement that one of its fighters had fired on a “large gathering” of Kurdish fighters near Hasakeh city before blowing himself up. The claim, which did not mention a wedding, said 40 people had been killed.
The almost entirely Kurdish-held city has often been targeted by jihadists of the Islamic State group.