Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least ten people and injured dozens in two coordinated attacks on Tuesday in the heart of the northeastern Syrian city of Hasaka, a monitor and a resident said.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least three bombers targeted a key Syrian army security compound in the heart of the government-held portion of the city while a bomber blew himself up in the Kurdish portion of the city at a police station run by the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG).

The ethnically-mixed city is divided into separate zones run by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a Kurdish administration with a well-organized militia.

The Observatory, which tracks violence across the war-torn country, said both the Kurds and the Syrian authorities were keeping a tight lid on the numbers of casualties.

A resident of Hasaka contacted by Reuters said the Kurds and Syrian forces cordoned off the main arteries within the city after the explosions.

Syria's state news agency SANA confirmed that two explosive-laden cars were detonated in twin bombings near a main roundabout in the city and close to a children's hospital, but gave no details.

Earlier this month, the ultra-hardline Islamic State militants were repelled by the Syrian army after they made lightning advances south of the strategically located city by conducting around a dozen suicide attacks using explosives-filled trucks at military checkpoints there.