At least 10 dead in Turkey border town blast: TV

At least 10 dead in Turkey border town blast: TV

ANKARA - At least 10 people were killed on Monday in an explosion in the centre of the Turkish town of Suruc near the border with Syria, local television reported.

The cause of the blast in the town - which lies opposite the Syrian flashpoint of Kobane - was not immediately clear.

But several media reports said it might have been a bomb and some commentators said it could have been the work of Islamist State (IS) militants.

Several Turkish media reported fatalities and private television station NTV said at least 10 people had been killed.

Witnesses said fire broke out after the explosion and television footage showed ambulances rushing to the scene.

A Turkish government official confirmed to AFP that the explosion occurred in the garden of a culture centre in Suruc. But he declined to provide any casualty figures.

Suruc is home to one of the biggest refugee camps housing Syrians who have fled the bloody conflict at home.

The camp, which opened in January, shelters about 35,000 refugees who crossed the border after Islamic State jihadists seized Kobane last year.

Kurdish forces drove IS fighters from Kobane in June, taking full control of the town after a lightning raid by the Islamist militants.

In January, Kurdish forces backed by rebel groups and US-led air strikes had pushed IS out of Kobane after four months of fierce fighting in a hugely symbolic defeat for the jihadists.

But IS launched a surprise attack on the Syrian town last month, staging three suicide bombings and re-entering the town.

Many of the injured had been taken to hospitals in Suruc.

Several hundred thousand Syrians have taken refuge in Turkish camps along the border but the vast majority of them are scattered in major cities, where their presence has stoked tensions with locals.

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