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Explosion rocks Manbij, injuring dozens including US soldiers

A violent explosion rocked the center of Syria's Kurdish city of Manbij on Wednesday afternoon, with initial reports indicating that at least tens of people, including US military personnel, were killed or injured in the blast.

An explosion in Manbij's busy market street, initial reports of casualties, Sharvan Darwish, the official spokesperson of the Manbij Military Council (MMC) tweeted. He added that one member of the MMC had been killed.

Six civilians were killed and 19 others wounded as a result of an explosion in the center of the city of Manbij, while a US military patrol was passing, an Al-Jazeera report asserted.

Four US soldiers were at the site of the bombing, Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported at the scene, adding, however, that the personnel had been at a restaurant near where the bombing occurred.

Shortly after, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the suicide attack that targeted an international coalition patrol in Manbij.

Sources on location told Kurdistan 24 that among the US soldiers present, two had been killed, while Turkish media outlets stated that the US soldiers were only injured.

Following the incident, social media videos purportedly showed a US helicopter flying over the city of Manbij. One source told Kurdistan 24 said US soldiers were being evacuated.

Nicholas A. Heras, a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), told Kurdistan 24 that the attack is an escalation by the Islamic State and a signal that the Americans aren't done yet. This means that ISIS has agents in Manbij that have been monitoring the US patrols.

The timing would indicate that ISIS wants to show the world that the Americans have not beaten it, and that it can strike the Americans as it chooses in Syria.

Source: National News Agency