May 11, 2013
Around 20 people were killed and 46 injured when several explosions struck a city in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria, Turkish media reported quoting officials.
It remains unclear how many explosions took place with conflicting reports of two and four blasts emerging.“Two car [bombs] were set off in front of the municipality,” Interior Minister Muammer Güler said, adding that one of the car bombs exploded outside the city hall while the other went off outside the post office.
A municipality building was severely damaged by one of the explosions, Reyhanli Mayor Huseyin Sanverdi said.
Initial reports said that many casualties were taken to nearby hospitals by ambulance, according to a local newspaper. Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said at least 15 ambulances rushed to the scene to help the injured, AP reported.
No one has claimed responsibility yet for Saturday’s bomb attack; an investigation has been launched. Five people, three of whom are Syrians, have been arrested in connection to the blasts, local channel NTV reported.
In a comment on the attacks, the Turkish Foreign Minister warned against “testing Turkey’s power.”
“No one should attempt to test Turkey’s power. Our security forces will take all necessary measures,”Reuters quoted Ahmet Davutoglu as saying. “Those who for whatever reason attempt to bring the external chaos into our country will get a response.”
Local media reported that the blasts sparked panic in the town; some locals started attacking Syrian refugees and cars with Syrian license plates.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the blasts may have been related to Syria, or to protests against the Kurdish peace process
Reyhanli, a town of about 60,000 in Hatay province just across the border from Syria’s Idlib province, has come under attack several times in recent months. In February, a mortar round landed near the border, killing 13 and injuring 33.
This article was posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:54 am