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Al-Hasakah: More than fifty dead in attack on Newroz festivities

KURDWATCH, March 28, 2015—On March 20, 2015, at least fifty-two people were killed in attacks during Newroz festivities in al‑Hasakah. A vehicle exploded at a Kurdish National Council celebration in the district of al‑Mufti. According to activists, there was a second explosion shortly thereafter. Originally there were reports that prior to this seven people had been killed in an explosion at a event organized by the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM) in the same district. Later activists explained that there had only been a loud bang, after which several participants fled in panic and were later killed at the nearby Kurdish National Council event.
It is not yet clear who is responsible for the attacks. A local Islamic State (IS) group in ar‑Raqqah claimed responsibility for the attacks, but several activists doubt this. They claim that the attack was not a suicide bombing, and the vehicle that exploded was at the celebration from the beginning. They presume that the Syrian regime is behind the attack and suspect that the Democratic Union Party (PYD) was informed in advance. Prior to the attack in al Hasakah, the PYD had prohibited all Newroz festivities planned for 21. March in the Jazirah.

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