Car bombs claimed by IS kill 26 in Syria:

Beirut (AFP) - At least 26 civilians have been killed in three suicide car bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group in northeastern Syria's Hasakeh province, a monitor said Friday.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman said the Thursday night attacks on the town of Tal Tamr wounded at least 120 people and warned that the toll could rise further.

He said one of the bombs detonated in a residential area near a post manned by Kurdish security forces. Members of the force were believed to have been killed, though he did not have a toll.

Another blast was in front of a hospital, with a doctor was among the dead, and the third hit a vegetable market.

Abdel Rahman added that the blasts had caused massive damage, and that some people were still trapped in the ruins of buildings brought down by the explosions.

In a statement on social media, IS claimed responsibility, saying three of its members blew themselves up in their explosives-rigged vehicles.

It claimed 60 people had been killed and dozens injured.

Tal Tamr, in the Khabur region, is controlled by Kurdish forces and has been targeted in the past by IS.

In February, IS overran much of Khabur and kidnapped at least 220 Assyrian Christians.

But Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) subsequently recaptured the area, and dozens of the hostages have been released in recent months.

On Wednesday, some 25 Assyrians, including two children, were freed by IS, according to the Assyrian Human Rights Network.

Elsewhere, the Observatory said at least 12 people, seven of them children, were killed in rebel fire on government-held parts of Aleppo city in the past 24 hours.

This week, rebels have stepped up fire into western Aleppo, killing dozens.

Once the country's economic hub, Aleppo has been ravaged by fighting and divided between government control in the west and rebel control in the east since shortly after fighting there began in mid-2012.

Government war planes regularly carry out deadly raids on the eastern rebel-held portion of the city.

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