Suicide bombing kills at least 16 in northeast Syria - monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A suicide bomb blast claimed by Islamic State killed at least 16 people in the mostly Kurdish-controlled city of Hasaka in northeastern Syria on Tuesday, the monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The attacker detonated his explosives at a bakery. Several other people were wounded and the death toll was likely to rise because of the number of serious injuries, the British-based Observatory said.

Three children and two women were among those killed, it said.

Islamic State said in an online statement that one of its members carried out the attack, and that it targeted the Kurdish YPG militia.

The group has targeted areas of Hasaka province in the past, including another city, Qamishli. But bomb attacks in Hasaka city itself have been rarer in recent months.

The YPG, which controls most of Hasaka province, captured large areas of territory from Islamic State in northeastern Syria last year and is involved in a U.S.-backed offensive that has advanced against the jihadists further west near the Turkish border.

Reporting by John Davison; additional reporting by Mostafa Hashem in Cairo, editing by Richard Balmforth