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Car bomb rocks rebel-held Syrian city, at least 21 people killed

Syria locator map, Aleppo

A deadly car bomb Saturday rocked the center of the rebel-held city of Azaz in northern Syria, near the Turkish border, according to activists.

At least 21 people have been killed and dozens more injured, according to the Aleppo Media Center activist group.

A local resident told CNN the explosion occurred around 11:40 a.m. local time near the courthouse and grocery market, and that it was caused by a truck bomb.

“My house is near the explosion area and the sound of the blast was so huge,” said Rahhal, who asked that his full name not be used for safety reasons.

Rahhal said he had seen at least seven dead bodies before medics moved him away.

He also said he blamed the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) — which controls the area — for not taking enough security precautions despite having many checkpoints.

There has so far been no claim of responsibility but the city has in the past been targeted by ISIS car bombs.

The reported violence comes despite a nationwide ceasefire, brokered by Russia and Turkey, that has largely held since coming into force on December 30.