Dozens of refugees were killed and scores injured by a car bomb in the suburbs of the city of Deir Ezzor on Saturday, Syria’s SANA state news agency reported. Women and children appear to be among the victims.
The bombing targeted the largest refugee gathering in the region, SANA reported. The blast occurred in the outskirts of the city, in the area near Conoco and al-Jafra gas fields.
The agency said that “large numbers of children and women” fell victim to the explosion, citing its own correspondent at the scene.
The assailant reportedly rammed the car, rigged with explosives, into the crowd before it blew up.
Damascus-based journalist Mohammed Ali told RT, citing sources on the ground, that the attacker is believed to be an ISIL militant. Driving a booby-trapped car, he targeted a camp for displaced civilians fleeing the eastern countryside of the province of Deir Ezzor.
The official death toll has not been announced, but some reports have put the number as at least 100, Ali said. He noted that last month the same area was also targeted in a similar attack by an ISIL suicide car bomber, resulting in civilian casualties.
The attack took place in an area considered to be largely under the control of the US-backed Syrian militants from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).