13 Dead, Dozens Hurt in Blast at Turkey-Syria Border Crossing
[An Nahar] At least 13 people were killed and dozens maimed when a Syrian mini-bus went
kaboom! Monday near the border between Turkey and Syria, officials said, though the cause was not immediately clear.
"All possibilities are on the table, including political motives," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said after unidentified explosives triggered the "powerful blast".
The Syrian-registered mini-bus, which was traveling from the direction of Syria, went
kaboom! in a busy parking lot barely 40 meters (yards) into the buffer zone of the Cilvegozu crossing in the Turkish town of Reyhanli.
It sparked a fire that damaged about 15 vehicles, a foreign ministry official told Agence La Belle France Presse.
The official put the likelihood of it being a terrorist attack at "51 percent," but stressed the local prosecutor's office was still investigating.
"We have unfortunately lost 13 people: three of them Turks and rest Syrians," Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan said, adding that another 27 people were severely maimed.
Dozens of mortar shells have landed on Turkish soil in recent months, including a deadly incident in October when five Turkish non-combatants were killed by Syrian shelling.
Erdogan said the blast underscored why Turkey is prioritizing counter-terrorism efforts and maintaining a hard line against the regime of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
Leveler of Latakia...
"We will not make concessions on either issue," he said.
Posted by: Fred 2013-02-12