February 16, 2020 / 5:10 PM / 3 months ago

Turkey says two killed in car bomb attack near Syria border

AMMAN/ANKARA (Reuters) - A car bomb attack by the Kurdish YPG militia killed two people and wounded five on Sunday in the northeastern Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the Turkish border, the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The Arab town, from which Turkish-backed forces last October pushed out the YPG militia in a major campaign spearheaded by the Turkish army, has seen a series of car blasts that have killed dozens of civilians.

“The perpetrator was captured alive along with another terrorist who came to the area with a bomb-rigged vehicle for a second attack,” the ministry said.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said earlier, citing security sources, that four civilians were killed in the attack.

Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organization linked to Kurdish insurgents on its own soil. The group was not immediately available for comment.

Syrian Arab rebels accused the YPG of carrying out the blasts, which they say seek to sow fear in areas where Turkey has carved a sphere of influence with the help of Syrian Arab rebels it backs and arms.

The Arab inhabitants of the area look at Ankara as their protector and accuse the Syrian Kurdish militia of forcibly pushing out the tribal population from these border area where they claim the YPG has sought to change its demography.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia refutes those claims and says Turkey has expansionist designs. It also defends policies that adversaries say discriminate against Arabs as redressing historic grievances as persecuted Kurds.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi in Amman and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Editing by Alison Williams, Nick Macfie and Dan Grebler

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