Syria denies role in Turkey car bombing that killed at least 46 people


Officers work on May 12, 2013 on a street damaged by a car bomb explosion which went off on May 11 in Reyhanli in Hatay, just a few kilometres from the main border crossing into Syria. Turkey was reeling from twin car bomb attacks which left at least 43 people dead in a town near the Syrian border, with Ankara blaming pro-Damascus groups and vowing to bring the perpetrators to justice. Nine people have been detained so far.


Bulent Kilic

Syrian government officials have denied the country's role in a deadly car bombing in southern Turkey.

In a press conference Sunday, Syria's information minister Omran al-Zoubi said that the attack was incompatible with the government's values.

"[Syria] did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that," he said, according to BBC.

Turkish authorities said they had detained nine people in connection with the bombings.

All of the detained are citizens of Turkey that authorities believe were in contact with the Syrian government.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said it was clear Syria was behind the attack.

"The investigation into the perpetrators is for the most part complete. It has been determined that the organization and its members who carried out the attack were in contact with pro-Syrian regime Al Muhabarat (Syrian Intelligence Services) organization in Syria," he said, according to CNN.

"The organization is identified and for the most part the persons involved are identified. "

In an interview on Turkish television, the interior minister, Muammer Guler said there was no doubt Syria was behind the attack.

“The incident was carried out by those who have been closely linked with pro-regime groups in Syria,”  Guler said, according to the Associated Press.

“There is no merit in spelling out the names, we know them all."

Two car bombs were detonated on Saturday afternoon in the southern Turkish town of Reyhanli.

The bombs killed 46 people as of Sunday afternoon and critically injured 29.

It is believed that 155 were injured in the attack.

The bombs exploded in front of municipal government buildings and a post office.

Reyhanli, next to the Syrian border, is believed to have over 300,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the violent conflict that began in March 2011.