At least 46 civilians, including 11 children, were killed following an explosion in the northern Syrian town of Afrin, which was seized by Turkish forces more than two years ago.
The governor of the neighbouring Turkish border province of Hatay said a fuel tanker rigged with a hand grenade exploded at a crowded market place.
The US state department condemned the Tuesday afternoon blast, which came as people went shopping in preparation to break the Ramadan fast, as a “cowardly act of evil”.
Turkey’s defence ministry blamed the attack on the Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia.
The ministry added that at least 40 people, including eleven children, were killed and 47 others wounded.
The blast was one of the deadliest to hit a region under the control of Turkish-backed forces. There was no immediate comment from the YPG.
Afrin is controlled by Turkish forces and allied Syrian opposition factions.
In 2018, they launched a joint operation to drive the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia out of the city and its surrounding region.
The Turkish government accuses the YPG of being an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU.