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Syria Terrorist Blast: seven dead, 85 wounded in car bomb attack in Azaz

Azaz, Syria: A car bomb attack in northwestern Syria's Azaz region killed seven people and wounded 85 others, a local hospital in Syria and Turkish state media said on Sunday. The injured civilians, some of whom are in critical conditions, have been transported across the Turkish border, and hospitalized in the city of Kilis, the report said.

The incident took place in the village of Siccu, across the border from Turkey's southern province of Kilis, Turkey's Anadolu agency said. It said 15 of the wounded had been taken to a hospital on the Turkish side of the border and that some were in critical condition. Azaz has been under the control of rebels backed by Turkey since Ankara's first incursion into Syria in 2016, in an operation that aimed to drive away Islamic State militants and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from its border with Syria. Ankara regards the U.S.-backed YPG as a terrorist organisation. The operation ended in 2017.

The deadly attack took place as Syrians voted to elect a new parliament, including, for the first time in years, in former rebel bastions. More than 7,400 polling stations opened at 7:30 a.m. local time (0430 GMT) on Sunday, including in former militant strongholds of Eastern Ghouta, east of central Damascus, and the southern countryside of the northwestern Idlib province.

President Bashar al-Assad's Baath party and his allies are expected to win most of the parliament's 250 seats in the third such polls to be held in Syria ever since foreign-sponsored militancy broke out in March 2011. The two previous polls were staged in May 2012 and April 2016 respectively. In the last legislative elections in 2016, turnout stood at 57.56 percent.

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