Car explodes in southern Turkey's Hatay, 3 killed

Fri 05 Jul 2019 11:17 GMT | 15:17 Local Time

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A car carrying a bomb Friday in the town center of Reyhanlı district in southern Turkey's Hatay province bordering Syria, killing at least three people, Daily Sabah reported.

Hatay Governor Rahmi Doğan said three people inside the parked car were killed in the explosion and the subsequent fire, and two others were injured. The cause of the blast is yet to be determined, according to Doğan.

Reyhanlı district borders Syria and the town center lies right north to the Syrian border, while the Cilvegözü border gate, a main crossing into Syria, is some five kilometers away. The district has been home to a large population of Syrian refugees since the conflict erupted in Syria.

On May 11, 2013, a bomb-laden vehicle was detonated in Reyhanlı town center first, killing scores and causing destruction. A second vehicle was detonated five minutes later after dozens, including civilians, first-aid units and security forces, had rushed to the area to help those wounded in the attack.

In addition to killing 53 people and injuring dozens of others, the attack devastated the district, damaging 912 houses, 891 businesses and 148 vehicles. It was the deadliest attack in the country at the time.

The attack was staged by the armed terrorist group People's Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (THKP/C), a former Turkey-based left-wing group moved to Syria in 1990s. Its leader Mihraç Ural former a small Shabiha group and has been fighting alongside the Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. Syrian intelligence agency al-Mukhabarat was also implicated in the attack, which was conducted by an operative who brought in explosives from Syria and detailed orders on where and how to stage the attack.

Pundits claimed that Assad regime sought to hit the Syrian opposition inside the borders of their main supporter Turkey and Reyhanlı, one of the main concentration centers of opposition groups, was chosen for the attack. It was also claimed that the regime sought to ignite ethnic tensions inside Turkey.

Later in 2017 and early 2018, the town was targeted by PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorist group in mortar and rocket attacks launched from positions in Syria's northwestern Afrin district.




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