20 killed in Syria car bomb explosion

Two consecutive car bombs struck different parts of Syria's predominantly Kurdish northeastern city of Hassakeh on Monday, killing 20 people, including a woman and her two children, Syrian state media reported.

The state TV said one bomb hit in the city's al-Mahatta neighborhood, killing 20 and wounding 40, while an earlier one went off in the Khasman district on Hassakeh's northern outskirts.

The state SANA news agency later said 17 were killed and 70 were wounded, including five in the first attack and 12 in the second. The discrepancy in the casualty figures could not immediately be reconciled, but different casualty figures are common in the immediate aftermath of attacks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists on the ground, said at least six of those killed were members of the Kurdish local police force. The Observatory put the death toll at 10.

Syrian state TV showed footage of a two-story building that collapsed from the al-Mahatta explosion, which also left a large crater in the street. A man is seen holding a victim and weeping. It later said that authorities dismantled two other car bombs in the province.

Syrian Kurdish fighters are largely in control of the city, which has pockets of government forces. The Islamic State militants have been battling the Kurdish forces and government troops in the province for months.