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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2557

45 People Killed in Rehanli Blast: Syrian Intelligence Involvement Suspected

Rehanli, Turkey, 13 May, (Asiantribune.com):

At least 45 people were killed and dozens of others were injured when two explosions shook a Turkish town of Rehanli on Saturday near the border with Syria.

The blasts, which were 15 minutes apart, raised fears that Syria's brutal civil war violence was crossing into its neighbour.

One of the car bombs exploded outside the city hall while the other went off outside the post office in the town of Reyhanl?, a main hub for Syrian refugees and opposition activity in Turkey's Hatay province, just across the border.

The death toll rose throughout the day as many of the injured were critically wounded.

A third, small blast caused panic in the town hours after twin car bombs, but local reporters said it appeared to have been caused by a car engine or building boiler room.

Images showed people frantically carrying victims through the rubble-strewn streets to safety. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arnç linked the blasts that killed at least 45 and injured more than 100 to Syria. There was no immediate information on the identities or nationalities of the victims. "We know that the Syrian refugees have become a target of the Syrian regime," he said. "Reyhanl? was not chosen by coincidence."

"Our thoughts are that their mukhabarat (Syrian intelligence agency) and armed organizations are the usual suspects in planning and the carrying out of such devilish plans," he said.

Arinç said Turkey would "do whatever is necessary" if proven that Syria is behind the attack.

In Reyhanl, smoke poured from charred ruins after the blasts outside administrative buildings.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu vowed from Berlin that Turkey would act. "Those who for whatever reason attempt to bring the external chaos into our country will get a response," he said. Davuto?lu called the incident an act of “provocation,” saying “there may be some powers who want to sabotage peace in Turkey.”

In initial comments, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erd?an condemned the attack.

“I would like to send a message to my brothers in Reyhanl?. We have recently launched a settlement process [to address the conflict in the southeast] and those who cannot digest this new period and the atmosphere of freedom in our country can be involved in such attacks."

"Another sensitive issue is that Hatay province (where the explosions occurred) is on the border with Syria, these actions may have been taken to provoke those sensitivities," he said.

Erdo?an said this week that Turkey would support a US-enforced no-fly zone in Syria and warned that Damascus crossed President Barack Obama's "red line" on chemical weapons use long ago.

A no-fly zone to prohibit Syrian military aircraft from hitting rebel targets has been mentioned by American lawmakers as one option the United States could use to pressure Assad.

- Asian Tribune -

 45 People  Killed in  Rehanli Blast:  Syrian Intelligence Involvement Suspected
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