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Blasts, protests against Kurdish militia rock Syria

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Damascus, Feb 1 (IANS) Three explosions rocked the rebel-held areas in northern Syria in the past 24 hours as protests erupted against the Kurdish militia.

Both civilians and militants were killed in the explosions on Sunday that hit the areas controlled by the Turkey-backed rebels in the northern and eastern countryside of Aleppo province, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In Afrin city, eight people including four children were killed when a car bomb exploded in the Sinaa neighbourhood, reports Xinhua news agency.

On Sunday, six people, including two women and a child, died in a second car bombing near the

cultural centre in the city of Azaz.

Also on Sunday, five rebels were killed when an explosion targeted their checkpoint in the Sukaraiyeh area, according to the Observatory.

About 64 people were wounded in the three explosions and the death toll could likely rise because of the number of critically wounded people.

Activists and official reports indicate that lawlessness and chaos have plagued the three areas hit by explosions for months.

Meanwhile in the northeastern province of Hasakah, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) opened fire to disperse protesters on Sunday, killing one and wounding three others, state news agency SANA reported.

Crowds of people took to the streets in Hasakah to protest against the siege laid by the SDF to government-controlled zones in the province.

SANA said the SDF set up more checkpoints in Hasakah and arrested a number of civilians.

The SDF has been laying a siege to government zones in Hasakah since January 19, preventing the entry of food and other necessary items.

Mazloum Abdi, commander-in-chief of the SDF, said on Sunday that the Syrian government “threatened a military operation” in Kurdish-controlled areas in Hasakah.

He revealed that an SDF delegation visited Damascus for talks with the government officials but the visit “wasn’t successful”.

The Syrian government has for long slammed the SDF for their alliance with the US forces in northeastern Syria.

In the eastern province of Deir al-Zour where the SDF controls a few areas in the countryside, protests also erupted on Sunday after the Forces arrested 20 men for compulsory military service.

–IANS

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