17 dead in car bomb at Syria rebel checkpoint: Monitor

A fighter checks identification papers at a rebel checkpoint on the outskirts of al-Rai town, northern Aleppo, Oct 2, 2016.
A fighter checks identification papers at a rebel checkpoint on the outskirts of al-Rai town, northern Aleppo, Oct 2, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

DAMASCUS (AFP) - At least 17 people, most of them rebels, were killed in a car bomb blast at an opposition checkpoint in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on Thursday (Oct 13), a monitor said.

The blast hit near the town of Azaz, close to the border with Turkey, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that 14 of the dead were rebel fighters.

It was unclear whether the three others among the dead were civilians or rebels.

The attack injured dozens and the monitor said the toll could rise further because of the number of people with serious wounds.

The checkpoint was run by the Shamiya Front rebel group, which is active in Aleppo province, and was on the road to the Baby al-Salama crossing.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group has regularly targeted rebel factions with bomb attacks, including an Oct 6 attack at a border crossing in neighbouring Idlib province that killed 29 rebels.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011.