Raqqa bomb blasts kill 10 in ISIS’s former capital
Two explosions killed 10 people in Raqqa on Saturday in the latest attacks to hit the city in northern Syria, opposition activists reported.
The blasts occurred at two different locations in the city that was once the de facto capital of ISIS, the group that overran large areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014 onwards. The attacks occurred after iftar, the meal after sunset that breaks day-long 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 centre. It said the second blast was carried out by a suicide attacker driving a vehicle at a checkpoint of US-backed fighters in the central Naim Square, killing five fighters and five civilians.
Sound and Pictures, an activist collective that covers ISIS 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 ISIS 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 ISIS members.
Blasts have occurred since US-backed fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces captured Raqqa in October 2017.
Several offensives with US-led coalition backing chipped away at ISIS until it was declared eliminated on March 23.
Ambushes and hit-and-run attacks have continued in both countries, with ISIS militants still scattered in the Syrian desert.
On April 9, a double bombing claimed by ISIS killed 13 people, mostly civilians, in the militant group’s former bastion.