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Turkey blasts assailants linked to Syria regime, says Dy PM

Last Updated: Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 10:38

Zee Media Bureau

Reyhanli: The blasts at Turkey-Syria border that killed 43 and injured over 100, were staged by the assailants who were linked to a pro-regime Syrian intelligence service, said Turkey`s Deputy PM.

Reyhanli, a town in Turkey at border with Syria, witnessed twin car bombings that killed 43 yesterday.

Warning that the perpetrators of the attack won`t be spared, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, "Nothing will go unanswered."

"No-one should attempt to test Turkey`s power. Our security forces will take all necessary measures," he said.

Also the country`s deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay claimed that the attackers were from Turkey but had links with the pro-Syrian regime intelligence service.

"We have established that the organization and assailants have links to the pro-regime mukhabarat (intelligence) organization," said Turkey`s Deputy Prime Minister.

He did not name the group, but said the aim of the attack was to pit Turks against Syrian refugees in Reyhanli.

Earlier, another deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc said: "Our thoughts are that their mukhabarat and armed organizations are the usual suspects in planning and the carrying out of such devilish plans," he said.

Arinc said the attacks were still being investigated, but that If it`s proven that Syrian was behind the attack, Turkey would "do whatever is necessary," without specifying if that included military action.

The blasts, which were 15 minutes apart and hit the town ofReyhanli`s busiest street, raised fears that Turkey could increasingly be drawn into Syria`s brutal civil war.

Turkey already hosts Syria`s political opposition and rebel commanders, has given shelter to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and in the past retaliated against Syrian shells that landed in Turkey.

The US Embassy in Ankara issued a statement condemning the "murderous attack" in Reyhanli and said Washington "stands with the people and government of Turkey to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice."

The main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, condemned the attack and said it stands together with the "Turkish government and the friendly Turkish people."

The coalition sees "these heinous terrorist acts as an attempt to take revenge on the Turkish people and punish them for their honorable support for the Syrian people," it said.

The frontier area has seen heavy fighting between rebels and the Syrian regime. In February, a car bomb exploded at a Syrian border crossing with Turkey, just a few kilometers from Reyhanli, killing 14.

First Published: Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 10:37

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