From Newroz celebrations 2015 in northeastern Syria. Photo: ARA News
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Hasakah, Syria – At least 40 civilians were reported dead Friday evening and nearly 73 others injured, including women and children, after two car bombs exploded near a group of Kurdish civilians during the revival of Newroz Day (Kurdish national day that marks March 21) celebrations in the Mufti district in the city of Hasakah, in northeastern Syria.
The first blast hit a celebration held by the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) in Martyrs’ Square of the Mufti neighborhood, eyewitnesses told ARA News, pointing out that the explosion hit the southern part of the crowd.
“Two minutes later, the second blast took place in the northern part of the gathering which was held by the Kurdish National Council (KNC) near Aluji Square in Mufti neighborhood when the participants dispersed after the first attack,” the source added.
“The second explosion, which was nearly 50 meters away from the first, was more powerful,” the source told ARA News.
It was not clear whether the blasts were car bombs or improvised explosive devices attached to the nearby cars.
“Dozens of civilians were killed and injured, including women and children, amid a state of panic among the residents of the Mufti and Salihiya neighborhoods,” a member of the KNC told ARA News in Hasakah.
In the meantime, the Asayesh forces (security arm of the Democratic Union Party PYD) surrounded the two locations and kept people away from the area, while the two cars burned with additional fragmental explosions.
The wounded were transferred to the National Hospital in the al-Aziziya neighborhood and clinics in nearby neighborhoods,” Dara Hame, a civil rights activist in Hasakah, told ARA News, pointing out that mosques were calling on people to donate blood.
In the meantime, dozens of the injured were transferred to the hospitals of Qamishli and Amuda to receive treatment because of the high number of casualties that filled Hasakah’s hospital.
The PYD-linked Auto-Administration appealed to the areas where Kurds constitute a majority in Syria to confine the Newroz celebrations to a familial atmosphere and avoid large gatherings for security reasons.
Newroz Day, which marks March 21st of every year, is a national holiday to Kurds around the world and it marks the beginning of the new year according to Kurdish and Iranian communities’ calendars.
Reporting by: Zozan Shekho
Source: ARA News