BEIRUT — A car bomb in a rebel-held town in northwestern Syria killed at least 15 people and wounded dozens in a crowded outdoor market Monday, setting cars on fire and sending people running in panic, two activist groups said.
The bomb went off in the town of Darkoush in Idlib province, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees. The marketplace was busy with shoppers on the eve of Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim holiday.
It was not clear who carried out the bombing and why they attacked a civilian target in a rebel-held area. Syria's conflict has seen an increasing use of car bombings, but most have been carried out against regime targets, usually by jihadi fighters among rebels.
The Observatory put the death toll at 27, while the Committees said 15 were killed. Such discrepancies often occur in the aftermath of such attacks.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva confirmed Monday that three of its employees and one from the Syrian Red Crescent were released, a day after being kidnapped by gunmen in Idlib province. The fate of three other ICRC employees who were also kidnapped Sunday was not immediately known.
The Observatory and a local activist in Idlib said the aid workers had been seized by an al-Qaida-linked group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, but there was no claim of responsibility.
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