Bombings In Turkish Town Near Syrian Border

Map of Turkey showing Reyhanli, scene of twin car bombings, and Syria

No one has claimed responsibility for blasts that left some 40 people dead, but an attack in February was blamed on Syrian agents

About 40 people have been killed and another 100 wounded in two explosions in a Turkish town close to the border with Syria.

The Hurriyet newspaper quoted the interior minister as saying the explosions in Reyhanli were caused by two car bombs.

The town hall and a post office were reportedly hit.

“We are going to launch an inquiry into all this, so that everything becomes clear,” Interior Minister Muammer Guler said.

Mr Guler was quoted as saying by the private NTV television that of the 100 people injured, 29 were in serious condition.

Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said at least 15 ambulances were helping the injured. There was no immediate information on the identities of the victims.

Photojournalist Bradley Secker, in Reyhanli, told Sky News that he had seen two cars with Syrian number plates in the wreckage.

Car bomb explosion on May 11, 2013 near the town hall of Reyhanli, Turkey
Syrian opposition figures blamed Assad’s regime for the blasts

“One is upside down and one people are attacking. The police and the Turkish military have been very cautious about who they are letting into the scene and the Syrians have feld back to their houses,” he said.

Reyhanli, a town of about 60,000 people, lies just a few miles from the Cilvegozu crossing opposite Syria’s Bab al-Hawa border post.

The border area has witnessed a number of attacks as the conflict in Syria has spilt over into Turkey, a one-time ally of President Bashar al-Assad but now one of his harshest critics.

In February, Turkey blamed a car bomb attack at Cilvegozu that killed 17 people and wounded another 30 on Syrian intelligence agents.

Four Syrians and a Turk are in custody in connection with the February attack.

Most of the victims of that blast were Syrians who were waiting to be processed before they entered Turkey and a Syrian opposition faction said the blast narrowly missed 13 leaders of their group.

Turkey has taken in around 400,000 refugees as well as Syrian army defectors. It has repeatedly called on the international community to act on the crisis. more


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