Bombers attacked three Christian-owned restaurants in the Syrian town of Qamishli on 30 Dec., killing at least 16 and injuring dozens, according to various independent news reports. The self-proclaimed “Islamic State” claimed responsibility, according to Agence France-Presse, citing the Amaq news service, which supports IS. The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, said in a prepared statement that the bombings were carried out by suicide attackers.
Qamishli sits near the Syria-Turkey border, and the Christian district where the attacks occurred is under joint control of Syrian government forces and Kurdish fighters. An explosion was first reported at the Miami Restaurant, and minutes later at the nearby Gabriel Restaurant, in the city’s centre, according to the Assyrian International News Agency. A third blast hit the Youth Restaurant on the west side. Each of the restaurants is owned by Assyrian Christians, the news agency reported.
Thirteen of the victims, all Assyrians, were buried the next day.